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Mexico Breaks Silver Production World Record in 2015

Experts say increase in production could continue
By The News · 05 of May 2016 17:45:57
A view of a silver mine, in San Jose de La Parrilla, in Durango state, Mexico., No available, photo: Reuters/David Alire

NEW YORK — Mexico produced 189.5 million ounces of silver in 2015, an increase of 3.2 million ounces, 2.0 percent over 2014, achieving the highest overall production of silver in recent history, according to the World Silver Institute.

In its annual report on the world’s silver market, the agency stated that Mexico won for the sixth consecutive year to position itself as the world’s leading producer of silver, beating its closest competitor, Peru, which generated 135.9 million ounces.

He said the rebound in Mexican silver production occurred despite the fact world production of gold declined 2.0 percent in 2015, to stand at 886.7 million ounces.

While the increase in the production from Mexico was due especially to blips in the production of Saucito and Saucito II mines of the Minera Fresnillo, as well as increases at El Cubo, of the Canadian miner Endeavour Silver.

A miner works inside a tunnel of the Parrilla silver mine, in San Jose de La Parrilla, in Durango state, Mexico February 24, 2016. REUTERS/David Alire

A miner works inside a tunnel a silver mine, in San Jose de La Parrilla, in Durango state, Mexico. Photo: Reuters/David Alire

Since 2010, when it produced 141.8 million ounces, Mexico held the lead as producer of silver, and has maintained steady production since, the World Silver Institute reported.

The metals market analyst consultancy firm GFMS, Erica Rannestad said that the depreciation of the peso against other world currencies represented a factor to reduce costs in Mexico and to boost production.

Rannestad said today expansion plans for the San José mine, Canadian Fortuna Silver Mines, so that domestic production could offset potential declines in the generation of silver in other quarries in the country.

“We can actually see an increase in silver production in Mexico this year,” predicted Rannestad.

The report noted that the silver market also had record demand in 2015, driven by growth in the sectors of jewelry, production of coins and ingots and the photovoltaic industry.

Total demand for silver in the world amounted to 1.17 billion ounces in 2015, up from 1.132 billion ounces the previous year.

The price of silver, however decreased in 2015, from $19.08 per ounce to $15.68.

The lower price of silver was another factor that boosted demand for the metal, because long-term investors saw it as an entry point to the market pending a future appreciation, according to the report.

MAURIZIO GUERRERO