Global silver demand is poised to soar in the next decade, driven by emerging technologies like electric vehicles and solar power.
Silver demand from solar alone has grown from less than 50 million ounces (Moz) a decade ago to an expected 160 Moz in 2023.
So, where will the necessary supply come from to meet this surge? This graphic from Discovery Silver shows the largest undeveloped silver deposits in the world.
Silver is a vital part of solar cells. The metal is converted into paste and coated onto silicon wafers to make solar arrays.
When sunlight hits the silicon, silver helps to transport the generated electricity for immediate use or store it in batteries. A typical solar panel can contain as much as 20 grams of silver.
Silver’s conductivity and corrosion resistance are vital in electronics, especially electric vehicles where nearly all electrical connections rely on the metal. Over 50 million ounces of silver are used every year to enhance conductivity in powered seats, windows, and other vehicle electronics.
In 2022, 27% of all silver consumption in the U.S. was attributed to electrical and electronics, while 10% was linked to solar technology.
With the increasing demand for new technologies combined with physical investment (bars) demand, the silver market saw a 237.7 Moz deficit in 2022, an all-time record.
2023 silver industrial demand is forecasted to rise by 4% to a new record high.
However, according to the Silver Institute, mined output is expected to decline over the next five years.
In this scenario, new mines are expected to play an important role in meeting the demand.
Currently, the world’s top 10 undeveloped silver deposits contain 984 Moz. Discovery Silver’s Cordero project in Mexico leads the ranking:
Cordero is located in Chihuahua State in Mexico, one of the world’s most prolific silver producing regions.
Once in production, it is expected to become one of the top three silver mines in the world.
(This article first appeared in the Visual Capitalist Elements)