The US was one of the world’s top silver producers in 2016, recording output of 1,100 MT.
While that’s far below first-place Mexico’s 5,600 MT, the US is still a major producer of the precious metal, and is likely to remain a key source moving forward.
Much of the nation’s silver is produced in Alaska, the country’s leading silver-producing state. But which companies produce silver in the US? Interestingly, much of the silver in the country is mined as a by-product of gold.
However, some companies have made silver their focus, and it is the primary metal that they produce. Read on for an overview of three of the largest primary silver producers in the US.
1. Hecla Mining (NYSE:HL)
Market cap: US$1.76 billion
Hecla Mining has operating silver mines in Alaska, Idaho and Mexico, and also has a gold-producing mine in Canada. Additionally, the company has a variety of exploration properties and pre-development projects in six silver- and gold-mining districts in North America.
During 2017, the firm produced 40.9 million silver equivalent ounces, with silver production coming in at 12.5 million ounces; that’s Hecla’s second-highest annual amount ever, behind the record set in 2016. Meanwhile, gold production for the year was 554,843 ounces, lead production was 22,734 tons and zinc output stood at 55,109 tons. The company believes it is “well-positioned for 2018.”
2. Coeur Mining (NYSE:CDE)
Market cap: US$1.59 billion
Coeur Mining describes itself as a growing precious metals producer with five mines in the Americas. It produces at several wholly owned operations: the Palmarejo silver-gold complex in Mexico, the Rochester silver-gold mine in Nevada, the Kensington gold mine in Alaska, the Wharf gold mine in South Dakota and the San Bartolome silver mine in Bolivia.
The company produced 39.4 million silver equivalent ounces in 2017, up 9 percent from 2016 and the highest in the company’s history. Silver production for the full year was 16.4 million ounces, up 11 percent from the previous year, while full-year gold output was 383,444 ounces, an increase of 7 percent from 2016. According to Coeur, 2018 production should come in at 36.6 to 40 million silver equivalent ounces.
3. Americas Silver (TSX:USA)
Market cap: C$212.88 million
Americas Silver has two primary assets in the US and Mexico: the Cosala operations in Mexico and the Galena complex in Idaho.
In 2016, the company put out 4.68 million silver equivalent ounces, down slightly from 4.87 million silver equivalent ounces in 2015. Americas Silver has yet to release its 2017 production numbers, but in a Q3 release it said guidance for the year remains set at 5 to 5.5 million silver equivalent ounces. The firm declared commercial production at its Mexico-based San Rafael mine in December of last year, and it expects output there to “drive significant earnings and cash flow at current metals prices for the Company’s shareholders starting in Q1, 2018 and over the life of the mine.”
Will you invest in any of these silver producers? Do you view current silver prices as a liability or an opportunity? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
This is an updated version of an article originally published by the Investing News Network in 2013.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Amanda Kay, currently hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.