Silver, due to its unique physical properties, is used in the jewellery, electronic and electrical industries as well as in medicine, optics, the power industry, automotive industry and in many others. In general, industry consumes 40% of the world’s silver production. As a precious metal it is also treated as a valuable investment.
In 2015, according to the estimations of GFMS (Gold Fields Mineral Services), globalmined silver production amounted to 887 million ounces (27 579 tonnes). In 2015 KGHM produced 1283 tonnes of silver, ranking second in the world.
Currently, around 75% of metallic silver is obtained as a by-product of copper ore mining. KGHM’s mineable resourcesbased on concessions currently held, including the new Deep Głogów deposit, are estimated at 1.1 billion tonnes of copper ore with a 2.08% copper grade and 58g/t of silver.
Silver is delivered in the form of granules to facilities manufacturing photographic materials, jewellery and metal companies producing alloys with Ag content. Silver in the form of bars is mainly delivered to banks. In 2013, the sales of silver on the domestic Polish market constituted 2% of the overall silver sales volume, while 98% was exported. The largest international customers of silver are the United Kingdom, Australia and the USA.