The Silver Series: Supply and Demand (Part 2)
In 2011, there were 1040.6 million troy oz of silver produced. Of this, 84% was used by industry and the remaining was used as an investment.
Interestingly, traditional uses only account for about a third of silver fabrication. These include jewelry, coins, medals, and silverware. Most is actually consumed in over 10,000 modern industrial applications.
The vast majority of silver supply comes from recycling, net government sales, and mine production. In terms of mine production, the majority comes as a by-product of mining other metals. In addition, about half of all mined silver comes from Latin America.
Although all silver ever mined can fit in a 52m cube, the vast majority has been consumed. While the actual amount is unknown, some experts believe as much as 90-95% ever mined has been ‘lost’ to landfills. For this reason, there is likely less silver available above ground than gold (98% of all gold is accounted for today).