Silver is an abundant mineral resource in Africa that makes up a large part of the continent’s mining industry. Although often outshone by its sister metal gold, it is an important resource that will play a key role in the green energy transition.
Here, we dive into some facts about the shiny metal within the context of Africa’s mining industry.
We also look at why it is predicted to have a bright, lasting future in Africa and the world.
4 facts about silver in Africa’s mining industry
1. Morroco is the biggest silver producer in Africa
The North African country leads the way in silver ore and silver concentrates production on the continent.
Its most significant mine, Managem’s Imiter silver mine, is one of the number-one producers of raw silver on the continent.
Meanwhile, Morocco’s second most important silver mine, Zgounder, is set to be expanded since the mine’s owner, Aya Gold & Silver, secured debt financing of $100 million for the expansion of Zgounder. This promises a huge rise in silver resources for Africa.
2. Silver is needed in the clean energy transition
Silver isn’t just a precious metal with purely monetary value; it is also used in many industrial applications. This includes the renewable energy industry; silver is one of the key components in solar photovoltaic (PV) cells in solar panels.
This is because it is highly conductive, which makes it great at converting sunlight to power.
Because the mining sector as well as many other industries are increasingly focusing efforts on transitioning to clean energy, solar farms will become more widespread in the future, which means more silver will be required.
Due to this, the demand for silver as a clean energy metal will continue to rise for years to come over the course of the green energy transition, and we may see a growth in silver mining projects in Africa and beyond.
3. Silver is in low supply
While there is a growing need for silver, there is also currently a supply deficit of the metal and difficulty to meet production demands. This is further increasing demand.
Unfortunately, silver may struggle to meet the supply challenge for a while as the mining industry continues to underinvest in new silver projects.
4. 5G technology and silver
5G is taking over the globe, with businesses as well as mines turning to 5G technology for seamless online operations. And one of the ingredients in 5G technology parts? Silver metal.
5G cabling, semiconductor chips, microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), and IoT (Internet of Things)-enabled technologies are all components that contain silver.
As 5G rollouts move across more industries and countries, this will be another thing that adds to the increasing demand for silver and makes it look like a promising commodity for the mining sector.
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