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Bureau of Mines / Minerals yearbook metals, minerals, and fuels 1972
Year 1972, Volume 1 (1972)

Welch, J. R.
Silver,   pp. 1129-1142 PDF (1.4 MB)


Page 1129

  1129Silver 
By J. IL Welch1 
 Domestic mine output of silver was down 10% to 37.2 million ounces. This
was 4.3 million ounces less than in 1971, the drop being mainly attributable
to an extensive fire at the Sunshine mine in Idaho. Imports exceeded exports
in 1972 by 35.7 million ounces, and consumption increased by 17% to 151.1
million ounces (exclusive of coinage). Silver prices fluctuated widely but
displayed a rising trend throughout 1972. On January 3 the price was 138.7
cents per ounce, which was the low for the year. A high of 204.8 cents per
ounce was reached on December 26, and at yearend the price was 204.2 cents.
 While U.S. silver consumption for industrial uses increased significantly,
its usage in coinage remained about the same as that in 1971 at 2.3 million
ounces. 
The use of silver for all industrial purposes increased, except for use in
bearings. Silver used in commemorative coins and medals rose sharply to an
estimated 113 million ounces. Trading volume on the New York Commodity Exchange
(COMEX) was up 32% over that of 1971. Treasury stocks declined 5% to 45.81
million ounces compared with 48.00 million ounces at the end of 1971. COMEX
stocks declined 37.89 million ounces (33%)-, and during the same period,
the stocks of the Chicago Board of Trade increased by 9.18 million ounces
(75%). Industrial stocks declined to 152.46 million ounces compared with
185.34 million ounces at the end of 
1971. 
 I Physical scientist, Division of Nonferrous Metals. 
Table 1.—Salient silver statistics 
- 
1968 
1969 
1970 
1971 
1972 
United States: 
Mine production thousand troy ounces~. 
 Value thousands~ 
Ore (dry and siliceous) produced: 
 Gold ore thousand short tons~ 
 Gold-silver ore do 
32,729 
$70,191 
2,003 
199 
41,906 
$75,040 
2,002 
216 
45,006 
$79,697 
2,092 
104 
41,564 
$64,258 
1,883 
167 
37,233 
$62,737 
1,583 
180 
Silver ore do - -- 
701 
755 
674 
673 
447 
Percentage derived from— Dry and siliceous ores               
Base metal ores                     
39 
61 
36 
64 
33 
67 
37 
63 
25 
75 
Refinery production ' thousand troy ounces.. 
Exports' do....Imports, general' do...Stocks Dee. 31: 
37,199 
125,761 
70,709 
43,769 
88,909 
71,876 
49,451 
27,614 
62,300 
37,242 
12,224 
57,962 
38,366 
29,651 
65,406 
 Treasury' million troy ounces~ 
 Industry4 thousand troyounces.~ 
Consumption: 
 Industry and thearts do~.. Coinage do~.. 
 Price' per troy ounce~ 
World: 
256 
166,356 
145,293 
36,833 
$2.144+ 
104 
198,790 
141,544 
19,407 
$1.790+ 
25 
210,150 
128,404 
709 
$1771 — 
48 
' 185,335 
129,146 
2,474 
$1.542— 
46 
152,461 
151,063 
2,284 
$1.685— 
Production thousand troy ounces.. 
Consumption:6 
 Industryandthearts do..~ Coinage do.... 
275,264 
' 350,800 
89,300 
295,718 
' 366,500 
' 40,000 
300,991 
' 357,100 
' 33,600 
288,883 
' 359,800 
' 27,300 
291,391 
382,000 
40,500 
' Revised. 
' From domestic ores. 
' Excludes coinage. 
' Excludes silver in silver dollars. 
' Includes silver in COMEX warehouses and silver registered to Chicago Board
of Trade. ' Average New York price. Source: Handy & Harman. 
*Free world only. Source: Handy & Rarman. 


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