Silver investors are often interested to hear which countries produce the most of the metal. After all, if a nation is producing a lot of silver, many companies are likely operating there – and investment opportunities may be available.

However,it’s also worth looking at silver reserves, or how much economically mineable silver a country holds.In general, the world’s top silver producersalsohave high silver reserves, butsome countries with high silver reserves are not putting out much of the metal.

With that in mind, here’s an overview of silver reserves by country. Though it’s certainly important for investors to be aware of where silver is currently being mined, it’s alsoimportant to keep an eye on which countries may eventually become powerhouses in the industry.All silver reserves by country data is based on the US Geological Survey’s most recent report on silver.

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1. Peru

Reserves: 120,000 MT

At 120,000 MT, Peru holds the highest silver reserves by country in the world by a long shot. And unlike some countries with high silver reserves, the nation was a top producer of silver in 2016 – it put out 4,100 MT of the metal, coming in second place in the world.

The majority of Peru’s silver is produced at the Antamina mine, a joint venture between BHP Billiton (ASX:BHP,NYSE:BHP,LSE:BLT), Glencore (LSE:GLEN), Teck Resources (TSX:TECK.B,NYSE:TECK) and Mitsubishi (TSE:8058). While the mine produces more silver than any other in the country, it is primarily a copper mine, and silver is produced as a by-product.

Minerals account for about 60 percent of Peru’s total exports. Peru is also the world’s second-largest copper producer, the third-largest producer of zinc and tin and the fifth-largest producer of gold.

2. Australia

Reserves: 89,000 MT

Australia produces much less silver than Peru, but its reserves of the metal are nevertheless high – it put out 1,400 MT of silver in 2014, and its reserves stand at 89,000 MT.

Silver mining has a rich history in Australia. BHP Billiton began as a silver producer there in the 1920s, and it remains the country’s largest producer of the metal, operating the Cannington m