The Top 10 World’s Largest Silver Reserves
For centuries, silver had been the choice metal for producing many of the world’s currencies. Its value spans the globe, and everyone understands the value silver has as an investment and an essential precious metal for technological advancement.
For these reasons and many others, governments have large reserves of silver, ensuring that if/when the time comes, they have access to large quantities of it while also using it as collateral to pay the debt to other countries as needed.
On that note, here is a “Top 10 List” of countries’ silver reserves, based on the tonnage of their holdings.
120,000 Metric Tons
The world’s #2 producer of silver has by far the world’s most significant amount of reserves. Silver mining is a crucial industry in Peru, with a history in silver that has gone back to pre-colonialism. Today, many silver mines dot the country, and account for 9% of the entire country’s GDP.
100,000 Metric Tons
Although it is the sixth-largest silver producer, Poland has an immense silver reserve. This strategic move will give it economic flexibility in the future and likely a high return on its initial investment.
90,000 Metric Tons
Australia has a long mining history, including significant copper and gold, dating to the mid-1800s. Both copper and gold deposits have immense underground operations, which result in silver as a byproduct of their processes. With so many mining operations, Austliralia has significant silver production capabilities, contributing significantly to the country’s immense reserve size.
45,000 Metric Tons
Although only half the size of Australia’s reserves, Russia still has significant silver storage that has benefited from the country’s vast silver mining operations. The demand for silver in Russia exceeded mines’ output by as much as 25%, and the recent economic sanctions against it for its war crimes will likely require the country to dip into these reserves, negatively affecting its placement on this list.
41,000 Metric Tons
Just behind Russia is its neighbour, China. Its geology is ripe for gold and silver production, and although it has a massive (and ever-growing) gold reserve, its silver reserves are much smaller by comparison. That being said, China has gone on a silver buying spree, surging its silver purchases by as much as 350% in some months. This likely relates to its increased industrialization and need to produce equipment and technology that requires the precious metal.
37,000 Metric Tons
Much of Mexico’s 6,000-ton production is used for investment and manufacturing purposes, so it does not rank higher on this list. But as you can tell, a significant tonnage remains in the country’s reserves. When Mexico increases its silver production, expect the country to add to its reserves.
26,000 Metric Tons
The rocky South American country has silver production and silver reserves that outpace most of the developed countries in the world. Chile’s deposits help to give it an economic advantage when negotiating international trade while also increasing its long-term value.
United States of America
26,000 Metric Tons
American mines produce approximately 1,000 metric tons of silver annually, but much is targeted for manufacturing and investing. The country’s silver reserves are small compared to the size, economic situation and industrialization/investment needs of the country.
22,000 Metric Tons
The landlocked neighbour of Peru and Chile makes the list as one with a deep history built on silver. Its infamous mine at Cerro Rico de Potosi has been producing silver for generations, adding to Bolivia’s silver reserves and spurring economic growth. Unfortunately, the mine – and many others in the country – were notorious for their unsafe working conditions.
The data in this article is accurate as of June 2022.