MEM: Peru was World’s largest silver producer in 2007

A report by the United States Geological Survey, USGS, says Peru was the World’s largest silver producer in 2007, according to the Energy and Mines Ministry, MEM. The USGS report, cited by the MEM on Sunday, says Peru’s silver production reached more than 109 million fine ounces in 2007. The next largest silver producers were reportedly Mexico and China, which produced more than 96 million and some 86 million fine ounces respectively. The global demand for silver increased by about 1.5 percent in 2007.

The report also pointed out that Peru was the World’s second largest copper producer behind Chile last year. Peru reportedly produced 1,200 metric tons of copper while Chile produced 5,700 metric tons. The United States was the third largest copper producer at 1,190 metric tons. However, new mining projects in Peru that will become operational this year is estimated to increase the country’s copper production by 71 percent over 2007. Global demand for copper increased by 3.3 percent in 2007 due to an increase in Chinese demand.

Peru was also one of the World’s largest zinc producers, with production totaling 1,500 metric tons last year. It was the second largest zinc producer behind China, which produced 2,800 metric tons of zinc in 2007. Global zinc production increased by more than 5 percent in 2007 reportedly due to Chinese economic growth and their increasing demand for the metal.

Peru’s gold production decreased in 2007 due to a 40 percent decrease in the Yanacocha mine, owned by Colorado-based Newmont and Latin America’s largest gold mine. However, the USGS reported Peru was still the largest gold producer in Latin America and the fifth largest in the World last year.

Other USGS results reported by MEM include Peru’s tin, bismuth and tellurium production, which were the largest in Latin America and third largest in the World. Peru was also reported to be Latin America’s largest lead producer and fourth largest in the World.

MEM also reports that mining exploration investment in Peru has increased by 40 percent annually from 2003 to 2007.

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