Hindustan Zinc (HZL), India’s largest zinc and silver producer, is planning to increase production of silver from 556 tonnes in 2017-18 to 1,000 tonnes in the next 3-4 years.
On Tuesday, the company announced its silver refinery had been recognised by the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) as its approved refinery on Monday, making it the only Indian private sector company achieving this status in India.
According to the World Silver Survey 2018 by The Silver Institute released late last week, HZL, that produces over 95 per cent of primary silver in India, is the 10th largest silver producer in the world. However, of the top 10, only three companies
produce more than 1,000 tonnes of silver, the survey says. The company jumped eight positions from its 2016 ranking of 18. HZL expects when it achieves the 1,000-tonne production mark, it would be counted amongst the top 5 global silver producers. For HZL, silver is produced as a by-product of zinc mining.
“We are very pleased to receive recognition by London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) for our silver refinery located at Pantnagar in Uttarakhand, since we represent India in the global silver market,” Chief Executive Officer Sunil Duggal said. The LBMA is the international trade association that lists those refineries whose gold and silver bars meet the required standard for acceptability in the London bullion market. The list now includes 69 gold and 82 silver refiners.
This recognition gives HZL certification of international standards quality of silver bars that match global trade acceptability.
Regarding its plan to achieve the production target, the company said in its announcement that, “silver will remain bullish due to the digital wave, solar power generation and upcoming electric vehicle market”.
The survey said silver demand from the photovoltaic (PV) industry rose to a fresh record high of 94.1 million ounces (2,926 tonnes) in 2017, surging 19 per cent from the previous year. China was again the main contributor to the growth, accounting for more than a half of the world’s new solar panel installations last year, while Europe and India also enjoyed healthy gains.