Quote Originally Posted by lesm View Post
I hope this isn't a red herring, ..... silver mines all around the world are closing down because of the shrinking film market. He said film had been one of the main uses for silver for decades.
Any truth in this?
I am in Canada, and so the business pages regularly talk about the mining industry, Silver is generally found with Copper, and sometimes other metals, so often there is not a "silver" mine per-se.

The photographic industry when it was in high gear regularly recycled much of the silver, as it is all left at the lab when you process colour film. I recall a stock seller trying to create panic years ago by saying that industrial demand was greater than the amount mined, impling that one would make a killing by buying a nice Silver wafer and waiting for the supply crunch.

As far as demand, the european Union has a policy called RoHS on the electronics industry, requiring the use of Lead free solder. Typical solder has been a mix of Tin and lead, trying to use pure tin results in teh growth a "Tin Whiskers" over time, so the lead free solder generally contains some Silver.

There is a big push to collect "e-waste" for recycling, Noranda (now Xstrata) just grinds it up and puts it though the smelter at one of their Mines as the smelter is already set up to separarate out the metals... http://www.norandarecycling.com/commodity_pro.html