Peak Silver And Canada

February 20, 2017

The annual silver production estimates for 2016 were published by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) recently. Subsequently, I have gone over the figures country by country in my latest newsletter. The upshot was that the USGS estimated another record year for global silver production in 2015, but this turned into an epic fail as global silver was down on 2014 by 5%.

Whether their estimate of yet another record year in 2016 will turn out to be true remains to be seen. However, the fact that the silver output of only three countries is now preventing Peak Silver is the message to take home from that USGS report. I say that because all the other major producers are either in decline or flat lining.

Take Canada as a case in point. The USGS production numbers for this country since 1994 are shown below. On this graph, silver production peaked in 2002 at 1,344 tonnes and collapsed thereafter till it stood at just less than 400 tonnes in 2015. For Canadian silver production, there is no way back.

You may ask what the USGS estimated for Canadian production in 2016. The answer is nothing because Canada has now been removed from their major producer list and absorbed into the Rest of the World category. So ends the silver story of Canada as far as the USGS is concerned. However, peak silver did not occur for Canada in 2002, it happened a lot earlier. The more expansive chart below shows the story of Canadian silver since 1887.

The peak actually occurred forty four years ago in 1973 at a record output of 1,477 tonnes. Thereafter, no amount of technological advances, tax breaks or silver price rises could coax production any higher. Peak Silver had arrived in Canada, but who will be next?

Global Peak Silver is coming. That could prove very good for your silver portfolio. For the rest of our life aspirations, it could prove devastating.

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Silver has 47 protons and 61 neutrons

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