University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Ecology and Natural Resources Collection

Page View

Bureau of Mines / Minerals yearbook: Metals and minerals 1978-79
Year 1978-79, Volume 1 (1978-1979)

Drake, Harold J.
Silver,   pp. 801-820 PDF (1.9 MB)


Page 801

  801Silver 
By Harold J. Drake1 
 U.S. mine production of silver declined moderately notwithstanding the sharply
increased price of silver during 1979. Consumption also declined moderately,
whereas imports and exports were well above the levels of 1978. The annual
average price of silver recorded a sharp advance over the comparable price
for the preceding year. The increase in price was attributed to speculative
interest in silver as a hedge against inflation and the instability of currencies
throughout the world. The decline in consumption was led by products containing
large quantities of silver per item such as sterlingware, jewelry, batteries,
solders, and catalysts. Uses showing increased 
consumption included photography, electroplated wares, contacts and conductors,
and others. Coinage use was well below that of 
1978. 
 Refinery output fell slightly in 1979 as production from ores and concentrates
dropped; however, production from old scrap rose slightly, mainly as a result
of sharply increased recovery from demonitized coin. 
 Trading of silver futures on the New York Commodity Exchange (COMEX) and
the Chicago Board of Trade (CBT) rose slightly to 34.1 billion ounces2while
stocks on the exchanges fell to 133.1 million ounces. Industrial stocks fell
44% whereas Treasury 
Table 1.—Salient silver statistics 
1975 
1976 
1977 
1978 
1979 
United States: 
Mineproduction thousand troy ounces.. — 
 Value thousands_. 
Ore (dry and siliceous) produced: 
 Gold ore thousand short tons... — Gold-silver ore do..~_ Silver
ore
~ 
34,938 
$154,424 
2,251 
137 
782 
34,328 
$149,328 
1,993 
1,027 
794 
38,166 
$176,325 
. 
3,478 
481 
976 
39,385 
$212,681 
3,499 
738 
1,102 
38,055 
$422,032 
3,247 
756 
1,066 
Percentage derived from: 
Dryandsiliceousores                      Base-metalores                 
35 
65 
32 
68 
43 
57 
55 
45 
51 
49 
Refinery production' thousand troy ounce&. —Exports2 do__Imports
for consumption2 do_ — —Stocks Dec. 31: 
33,073 
32,626 
66,540 
34,359 
14,596 
72,700 
36,729 
22,394 
79,147 
44,018 
22,400 
75,641 
38,982 
35,563 
92,381 
    Treasury' million troy ounces.... —    Industry4 thousand troy
ounces... — Consumption:    Industry and the arts do____    Coinage
do.__... Price5 per troy ounce... 
World: 
41 
158,299 
157,650 
2,740 
$4418 
40 
146,423 
170,559 
1,315 
$4354 
39 
165,343 
153,613 
91 
$4623 
39 
146,902 
160,165 
45 
$5401 
39 
149,231 
157,258 
168 
$11109 
Production thousand troy ounces_ — 
303,112 
r316,303 
r340,213 
344,657 
344,457 
Consumption:6 
 Industryandthearts do.._... Coinage do.... 
r376800 38,800 
r422,100 
r~97~() 
T417,500 
r19,200 
404,500 
29,000 
410,000 
22,800 
TRevised 
' From domestic ores. 
' Excludes coinage. 
' Excludes silver in silver dollars. 
4lncludes silver in COMEX warehouses and silver registered in Chicago Board
of Trade. ' Average New York price. Source: Handy & Harman. 
6Market economies only. Source: Handy & Herman. 


Go up to Top of Page