05/11/2015 – Silver has been mined for thousands of years. But for most of the 20th century it was the poor man’s precious metal, its value eclipsed by the enduring lure of gold.
The first big revolution in silver came in 1492 with the discovery of the New World, which opened up mining of the metal on a scale not previously seen. In the centuries that followed Hernán Cortés and the conquistadors’ destruction of the Aztecs, Peru, Bolivia and Mexico accounted for three-quarters of all world production and trade in the metal.
Today, more than 877m ounces of silver are mined annually and the metal is increasingly being employed in new industrial processes. A major catalyst … read more