One need not go on ranting about the uses of silver reserves and mines since that chapter is quite clear. So to make things interesting, it will be cool to look into the world’s biggest silver mines. Yes, that’s right. Capturing and learning more about these mines will help in establishing a brief idea about production and various other aspects that revolve around the same. So brace yourselves and get ready because here are the world’s biggest silver mines.
Fresnillo’s Saucito silver mine made headlines after producing around 22 million ounces of silver back in the year 2016. With that, it became the largest silver operating in the world. But full-year production decreased marginally due to expected return to normal ore grades soon after mining the extraordinarily high-grade ore from the mesquite vein. As a result, the high-grade development ore was exhausted.
Approximately 40 km southwest of Guatemala City, lies the world’s second-largest silver mine, Escobal. With underground long-hole stoping methods and processing through differential flotation, the place produces metal-rich lead and zinc concentrates. As a result, it went on to record around 21.2 million ounces of silver beating its previous records.
Dukat silver mine is considered to be one of polymetal’s first and original assets. Its production stands to be the largest silver operation in Russia and thus, turned out to be Polymetal’s flagship enterprise. But things went the opposite direction when its silver output dropped by nearly 12%. Over the years, they have been trying to regain balance and set things straight.
Cannington silver-lead-zinc-mine is located in north-west Queensland and was once an undisputed leader in silver production. They broke records when they produced around 44 million ounces of silver back in 2005. But through the course of years, Cannington significantly lost its title and now produces approximately 18.24 million ounces. Hence, one can only wait and see whether things will change in the near future.
Antamina is another silver-lead operation that is located in the Andes mountains 270 kilometres north of Lima, Peru. The place is owned by BHP Billiton, Mitsubishi Corporation, Glencore and Teck. A 302-kilometre slurry concentrate pipeline is what transports copper and zinc concentrate to the port for shipment to smelters and refineries worldwide.
Goldcorp-s Penasquito Polymetallic mine is currently Mexico’s largest gold producer and was once the world’s largest. The open-pit mine carries the process forward through flotation and grinding. Although their production was blooming, operational challenges came along and took Penasquito’s number one spot. In terms of output, it suffered a significant blow and witnessed a 31% drop that did the job in bringing it to the sixth spot.