As per World Silver Survey 2019 by The Silver Institute, Hindustan Zinc is now the 9th largest Silver producer in the world, placing India into top 12 Silver producing countries. With production touching 1000 tonnes it will be counted amongst top 5 global producers and eventually with 1500 tonnes, the company sees itself positioned as 2nd largest global silver producer, only after Fresnillo plc.
Hindustan Zinc is the only integrated silver producer in India and produces about 95% of India’s primary Silver. Hindustan Zinc produces 100% of the India’s integrated Silver. The Company has increased its production of Silver manifold in the last fifteen years from 41 MT in FY 2002 to 679 MT in FY 2019.
The company has its plans set to produce 1000 tonnes of silver in the next 2 years and quite ambitious to produce 1500 tonnes in the next 5-6 years.
Hindustan Zinc operations accounted for over two-thirds of total Silver production growth in the continent, and growth is set to continue as the company is further looking to represent India in the global Silver market.
Last year, Silver refinery of Hindustan Zinc located at Pantnagar, in Uttarakhand has also been recognized by London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) and has been added to London Good Delivery list.
Globally, the scenario of total supply of Silver has been constant in the last 5 years between 31Kt to 32Kt according to World Silver Survey 2019 by The Silver Institute.
India is the largest consumer and importer of Silver in the world, having a share of about 21% of global silver demand though it produces only 10% of its consumption requirement. The Silver import in India touches 5500 to 7,000 tonnes per annum.
Globally, the highest usage of Silver is in industrial fabrication (54 per cent), followed by jewellery (20.5 per cent), coins and bars (17.5%) and silverware (6%) as per World Silver Institute. Silver demand from the photovoltaic (PV) sector retreated in 2018, easing 9% to 80.5 Moz (2,503 t) and India will stand in 2nd position driving this demand.
Silver will always continue to be in demand essentially because of its industrial usage. Satellites, lasers, high tech weaponry, robotics, telecommunications need silver. Conductors, contracts, switches and fuses require silver because it does not corrode much or cause overheating and fires. Silver’s industrial role is much more than that of gold’s and it is for this reason that a shortage of silver will have higher negative implications than there would be if there was a shortage of gold.