Silver strong: Record demand forecast in 2022

The Silver Institute has forecast global silver demand to rise to a record 1.112 billion ounces in 2022 as traditional and green technologies increase its use.

These established and emerging uses in industrial fabrication are expected to rise by 5 per cent this year, while use in jewellery and silverware could rise by 11 and 21 per cent respectively.

The news comes as the Perth Mint announced record silver sales for January, selling 2,387,165 ounces of silver in minted product form.

Perth mint general manager of minted products Neil Vance said the total was the second highest monthly total, behind September 2015 when 3,349,557 ounces were sold.

“This January we released our 2022 Australian Koala silver bullion coin series and also took first orders for our one kilo Lunar Tiger coins,” Vance said.

“Both releases are globally popular and contributed heavily to an especially pleasing month, which also reflected a build-up of demand during the Christmas and New Year period at the end of 2021.”

The uptake of solar panels and their components was seen as a big factor in silver’s continued strength in 2022, according to the Silver Institute.

“The outlook for silver’s use in the photovoltaic (PV) industry remains bright. Government commitments to carbon neutrality have resulted in a rapid expansion of green energy projects,” the Institute stated.

“As a result, even with ongoing efforts to reduce silver loadings, record PV installations are expected to lift silver demand in this segment to an all-time high in 2022.”

The news comes at a good time for Alien Metals, which recently discovered bonanza silver grades of 36 kilograms per tonne at its Elizabeth Hill silver mine in Western Australia.

The drilling results far exceeded expectations of the long dormant mine, which once averaged grades of 2195 grams of silver per tonne (g/t) before it was mothballed in 2000.

While a restart of Elizabeth Hill remains uncertain, the Silver Institute projected a rise of 7 per cent in global silver supply to a six-year high of 1.092 billion ounces in 2022.

Some Australian mines contributing to this figure will be 29 Metals’ Golden Grove copper-gold-zinc-silver mine in WA; South32’s Cannington silver-lead mine in Queensland; and Glencore’s Mount Isa zinc-lead-silver mine, also in Queensland.

To keep up to date with Australian Mining, subscribe to our free email newsletters delivered straight to your inbox. Click here.