Analyst comment

Global silver production to rebound in 2024

Global silver production is set to grow in 2024 driven by the restart of mining operations, but the longer-term outlook is less positive.

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Silver ore. Credit: bambambu via Shutterstock

Global silver production is expected to rebound in 2024, with a 4.1% growth rate to 916.1 million ounces. The increase will predominantly be fuelled by the restart and ramp-up of operations that were temporarily halted in 2023.

In 2024, overall anticipated rises in production in Mexico, the US, China, and Russia, will offset declines in Peru, Argentina, and Kazakhstan.

Mexico accounted for 24.1% (211.6 million ounces) of the total global silver supply in 2023. Despite a 3.2% dip in output in 2023 due to operational disruptions at major mines, Mexico’s output is expected to recover in 2024, with forecast production of 224 million ounces.

This will be supported by the ramp-up of operations at the Pennsquito mine, as well as a 30% increase in production at the La Colorada mine, which faced ventilation issues last year. The expected start of projects such as Terronera, EC120, Media Luna, and Tahuehueto will also boost production growth in 2024.

Global silver production trends from 2010-2030. Source: GlobalData

Meanwhile, global silver production in 2024 will be further bolstered by increasing output from China’s Jiama mine following its resumption in December 2023.

Similarly, production in the US is expected to increase by 16.4% in 2024, owing to expected higher production from the Rochester mine, which completed a significant expansion in November 2023. The restart of operations at the Lucky Friday mine will also contribute to the increase.

Production in Russia is also expected to increase by 8.6% in 2024, primarily due to the ramp-up of the Udokan project and Primorskoye Property, as well as consistent production from other miners. The scheduled commencement of Polymetal’s Prognoz silver mine in the fourth quarter of 2024 will further support production.

Looking at the longer term, global silver production is expected to fall to 876.6 million ounces by 2030, reflecting expected lower production from Mexico. India, Argentina, Russia, and Bolivia are also set to contribute to the decline.