December 16, 2011 5:28 AM EST
10 Biggest Silver Mines in the World [PHOTOS]
Here is a list of the 10 biggest silver-producing mines in the world, based on available data. There are differences of opinion about some of the rankings and some of the production figures. Such differences of opinion stem from how miners report production (some report pure silver production while others report silver equivalent production), whether production is reported by individual mines or as an aggregate of mines within the same geological complex, among other reasons. The ranking and the annual production figures provided here is based on data provided by Intierra Resource Intelligence. For the purposes of this slide show, all mines are labeled "silver mines." However, some of these 10 mines may also produce copper or gold or other metals and may be more commonly recognized as copper mines or gold mines.
Cannington Silver Mine
Cannington Silver Mine
No. 2 - Rudna-Lubin Silver Mine
Rudna-Lubin Silver Mine is in Poland and is owned by state-controlled KGMH Polska Miedz SA. It is an underground operation. Last year it produced 37,330,000 ounces of silver.
No. 3 - Fresnillo-Zacatecas Silver Mine
Fresnillo-Zacatecas Silver Mine, which is owned by Fresnillo Plc, is in Mexico's Zacatecas state and is the nation's largest silver mine. It is an underground operation. Last year it produced 35,905,701 ounces of silver.
No. 4 - San Cristobal Silver Mine
San Cristobal Silver Mine, an open pit operation, is owned by Japan-based Sumitomo Corp. It is in southwestern Bolivia. Last year it produced an estimated 19,000,000 ounces of silver.
No. 5 - Penasquito Silver Mine
Penasquito Silver Mine, an open pit operation in Mexico, is owned by Goldcorp. Last year it produced 13,952,600 ounces of silver.
No. 6 - Antamina Silver Mine
Antamina Silver Mine, an open pit operation, is located in Peru and is operated by Compania Minera Antamina, which is owned 33.75% by BHP Billiton, 33.75% by Noranda Inc., 22.5% by Teck Cominco Limited and 10% by Mitsubishi Corp. Last year it produced 12,820,000 ounces of silver.
No. 7 - Gumuskoy Silver Mine
Gumuskoy Silver Mine, an open pit operation in Turkey, is owned by Eti Mine Works. Last year it produced 11,460,000 ounces of silver.
No. 8 - Dukat Silver Mine
Dukat Silver Mine, which is both an open pit and an underground operation, is in Russia's Far East. It is owned by Polymetal. Last year it produced 11,100,000 ounces of silver.
No. 9 - Pallancata Silver Mine
Pallancata Silver Mine, an underground operation in Peru, is owned by Hochschild Mining and IMZ. Last year it produced 10,136,000 ounces of silver.
No. 10 - El Penon Silver Mine
El Penon Silver Mine is an underground operation in Peru owned by Yamana Gold. Last year it produced 9,427,209 ounces of silver.