Top primary silver mining industry production yield falls to lowest level ever


By Steve St. Angelo
Money Metals News Service, Eagle, Idaho
Wednesday, June 10, 2020

The era of high-grade silver mines may be coming to an end.
Remarkably, the top primary silver miners' average yield fell to the lowest ever in 2019. Which begs the question: Will high-grade silver mines become extinct in the not-so-distant future?

If we look at the data, it seems to be happening already.

Since I started researching the primary silver mining industry, the yields at many high-grade silver mines have fallen drastically.

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For example, Fresnillo's flagship mine, the Fresnillo Mine, had seen its average yield decline from 15 ounces per tonne in 2005 to only 5.3 ounces per tonne last year. That is one hell of a reduction in just 14 years. Nearly 10 ounces per tonne of silver yield evaporated.

Take a look at how much more silver the Fresnillo Mine was producing in 2005 compared to 2019 ... processing less ore.

-- Fresnillo Mine 2005 Production = 33.4 million oz.
-- Fresnillo Mine 2005 Processed Ore = 2.2 million tonnes
-- Fresnillo Mine 2005 Average Yield = 15.2 oz/t

-- Fresnillo Mine 2019 Production = 13.0 million oz.
-- Fresnillo Mine 2019 Processed Ore = 2.5 million tonnes
-- Fresnillo Mine 2019 Average Yield = 5.3 oz/t

As we can see, workers at the Fresnillo Mine processed more ore in 2019 to produce 20 million fewer ounces of silver. No wonder the cost to produce silver has risen from $4-5 per ounce back in 2005 to more than $15 at present. ...

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