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The Warsaw Voice » Business » June 27, 2013
Business & Economy
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Poland’s KGHM Still No. 1 in Silver
June 27, 2013   
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Polish company KGHM Polska MiedĽ, whose core business is the production of copper, last year produced 1,274 metric tons of silver, maintaining its position as the world number one in the production of the precious metal.

According to the World Silver Survey conducted by Thomson Reuters GFMS, a company that is a leading source of information on most aspects of the gold, silver and platinum metals markets, the league table of the top global silver producers remained unchanged last year. KGHM, which produced about 1 percent more than in 2011, maintained pole position, ahead of Australia’s BHP Billiton and Mexico’s Fresnillo. At the same time, KGHM was the only top silver producer that managed to increase its output—unlike its direct competitors and extraction companies for which silver is a by-product in the production of other metals such as copper and zinc. Silver was responsible for nearly 21 percent of KGHM’s revenues in 2012, at zl.4.3 billion.

KGHM produces silver with more than 99.99 percent Ag content in the form of bars and granules. The company’s silver in the form of bars, registered under the KGHM HG brand, has “Good Delivery” certificates issued by the London Bullion Market Association and the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre and is also on the Approved Refiners and Brands official list of the Commodity Exchange Inc. (COMEX) in New York. The main buyers of silver produced by KGHM are Britain, the United States and Belgium. Poland is the sixth-largest producer of silver in the world, ahead of Chile, a global powerhouse in the extraction of metals.

Silver is widely used in jewelry making, electronics and photography. The market for silver has significant growth potential. Recently the antibacterial properties of silver have also been exploited in medicine and the production of household appliances. Due to the global focus on renewable energy sources, the role of silver as a raw material for the production of solar panels has increased. Demand for silver as an investment has also grown since 2006, with silver treated as a cheaper alternative to gold. Silver attracted special investor interest in the first quarter of this year, when falling prices of the metal triggered strong retail demand that eventually led to shortages in mint stores in the United States, Australia and Dubai.
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