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Silver has been in use for thousands of years, and it continues to have significant consumer and industrial uses.

South32 produces silver from ore at our Cannington operation in Queensland, Australia, along with zinc and lead.

Key stats

11,813 koz

Silver production in FY23

Key uses of silver

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Solar cells

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Medical equipment

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In addition to ongoing traditional use as a precious metal in items like jewellery, tableware and collectible and bullion coins, silver's unique properties have given it a number of important applications in modern technology.

In particular, silver is an excellent conductor of heat and electricity, even when tarnished. For this reason, it is widely used in electronics in a number of ways, particularly in connectors, circuitry and solder, but with a range of other uses as well. Electronics are now the most common use of silver.

Silver is also a key component for the production of solar photovoltaic cells, playing an important role in converting the sun's light into electricity as a conductor.

Silver also has anti-bacterial properties which give it important applications in medical equipment and water purification.

Producing silver

South32 produces silver at our Cannington operation in Queensland, Australia, which is one of the world's largest silver producing operations. A small amount of silver is also produced at the Sierra Gorda operation in Chile.