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KGHM, the world' s largest silver mine

KGHM, the world' s largest silver mine

Thursday, 21 April, 2022
KGHM was ranked first among the "world's largest silver mines" in the World Silver Survey 2022. In the category of "largest silver producers", the copper tycoon came in second.

- The ranking confirms that the future lies not only in copper, but also in silver. This provides KGHM with the great perspectives for years. Our metals are necessary for green transition and this transition is a must to the world - said Marcin Chludziński, President of the Management Board of KGHM Polska Miedź S.A.

In 2021, the KGHM Capital Group produced 1,366 tonnes of silver.

KGHM has been occupying the high ground among the world largest silver producers for years. 16% of revenues of the copper tycoon comes from the sales of silver.

KGHM sells silver in the form of bars and pellets. The metal is supplied in granulated form to factories producing materials for jewellery and metal works producing Ag-containing alloys. Silver in the form of bars goes mainly to the financial institutions.

Silver production at KGHM

The production of silver at KGHM takes place at Głogów smelter, where there has been a Precious Metals Division operating since 1993. It was created specifically to recover the precious metals, silver and gold, present in the copper ore. These are found in the so-called 'black mud', or anode slime, produced during the electrorefining of copper. From cathode silver with an Ag content of more than 99.99 per cent, metallic silver is produced in the form of granules packaged in 25 kg bags and bars weighing approximately 1,000 troy ounces, which amounts to approximately 31.1 kg.

About the report

The World Silver Survey report is one of the most important annual reports that publishes a summary of the largest silver producers. It is being drawn up by a team of analysts from the global metals markets.

Properties of silver

Due to its unique physical properties, silver is used in jewellery, electronic, electrotechnical industry, medicine, optics, power generation and many other areas. It is also used in many technological solutions, including in infrastructure, automotive industry and photovoltaics. In total, the industry consumes circa 40 percent of the global silver production. Silver is also a valuable investment precious metal.

Silver fun facts:

  •     in nature, silver is rarely found as a pure metal - it occurs most often in the form of compounds with copper, lead, zinc and gold ores
  •     it has unique physical properties - it is ductile and malleable, with a shiny lustre
  •     has the highest electrical and thermal conductivity
  •     has the brightest colour
  •     was already valued in ancient times as a precious metal for jewellery making and as currency
  •     at present silver is used, among other things, for the production of electrical and electronic equipment, filmstrips and panels, mirrors, musical instruments
  •     thanks to its antibacterial properties, it has even been used in medicine to make surgical instruments and medications      

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