The rate at which global silver production increased over the past century is quite astonishing. When Columbus arrived in America (1492), the world was only producing 7 million oz of silver a year. Today, the world’s largest primary silver mine, Fresnillo’s Sauicto Mine, produced three times that amount in just one year (22 million oz, 2016). Yes, we have come along way in 500 years.
Just think about that for a minute. One silver mine last year produced three times the global amount in 1493. According to the U.S. Bureau of Mines 1930 Report on Summarized Data of Silver Production, the average annual silver production in the world from 1493 to 1600 was 6.9 million oz (Moz). If we look at the following chart, we can see how world silver production increased over the past 500+ years:
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