Mining

In 2004 alone, 634.4 Moz of silver were mined. Of global mine production, 30% was from primary mines and the other 70% was generated as a by-product of lead, zinc, copper and gold mining. Primary mines produced 188.5Moz in 2004, which is a 9% increase from 2003. Secondary sources (scrap) supplied the world with an estimated 181.1 Moz in 2004.

The top five silver producing countries in 2004 were Mexico (99.2 Moz), Peru (98.4 Moz), Australia (71.9 Moz), China (63.8 Moz), and Poland (43.8 Moz). The United States is ranked 8th in the world with an annual output of 40.2 million ounces. U.S. mines account for roughly 6.5% of the total "new" world production. Over the last five years, U.S. mining has decreased output by 37%.