There are not many large-cap or mid-cap mining companies that expressly focus on silver production alone. Much silver production comes about as a byproduct of gold mining. Thus it is likely that even strictly pure-gold producers will come up with some trace amounts of silver, too.
This post lists the large-cap Canadian companies that either declare a concentrated focus on silver mining, or whose data show significant, not just trace, amounts of silver production in addition to their primary focus.
Top 16 Canadian Silver Producers
Barrick Gold Corporation (TSX: ABX) – As you might expect with the world’s largest gold producer, which mines in over 27 different locations globally, Barrick also pulls up tonnes of silver in the process – largely in its Pascua-Lama project in South America and in Tanzania, Africa.
Agnico-Eagle Mines Ltd. (TSX: AEM) – Primarily a gold producer (over 80% of its production appears to be gold), but Agnico pulls up quite a bit of silver at its flagship LaRonde mine in the Abitibi region of Northern Quebec.
European Goldfields Limited (TSX: EGU) – European Goldfields mines precious metals and base metals and produces silver deposits through its properties in Greece and Romania.
Eldorado Gold Corporation (TSX: ELD) – Alongside gold production in its Western Turkey mines, Eldorado also brings up a substantial supply of silver.
Goldcorp Inc (TSX: G) – As its name suggests, the focus of Goldcorp is gold, but in a couple of their mines they also produce copper and significant amounts of silver (eg., the San Dimas mine in Mexico).
Gammon Gold Inc. (TSX: GAM) – In addition to its pure gold production, Gammon has a gold-silver project in Mexico.
Great Basin Gold Ltd. (TSX: GBG) – Based in Vancouver, BC, Great Basin develops gold-silver properties in Nevada and South Africa.
HudBay Minerals Inc. (TSX: HBM) – HudBay focuses on base metals such as copper and zinc, but still produces significant silver reserves in the process at its 777 and Trout Lake projects.
Ivanhoe Mines Ltd (TSX: IVN) – Largely a copper and gold producer in Mongolia, Ivanhoe also digs up some silver there, as well as in its Silver Hill mine in South Korea.
Kinross Gold Corporation (TSX: K) – Kinross is mostly known as one of Canada’s major gold producers, but in fact it produces just as much silver. Major silver prospects are located in its Chilean and Russian mines.
Minefinders Corporation Ltd. (TSX: MFL) – Minefinders primarily operates in Mexico, mining primarily silver but also gold at its Dolores Mine property. Production commenced only in November 2008.
New Gold Inc. (TSX: NGD) – New Gold is largely a pure gold miner, however as with many gold producers it also unearths some copper, and in the case of its Mexican and Canadian properties, a significant amount of proven (but mostly yet to be mined) silver reserves, as well.
Pan American Silver Corp. (TSX: PAA) – One of the few companies in Canada that focuses exclusively on silver. Mines in Mexico, Chile, Argentina and Peru. It has the largest market capitalization of any silver company, too, at $2.3 billion (Canadian).
Silver Wheaton Corp. (TSX: SLW) - This young company (begun in 2004) has grown into the world’s largest silver stream. Not hedged against the price of silver, Silver Wheaton purchases silver from active silver mines – more specifically, it buys silver options (rights to purchase the silver). Most prominently, Silver Wheaton purchases silver streams from Barrick and Goldcorp.
Silver Standard Resources Inc. (TSX: SSO) – Silver Standard’s flagship mine is in Argentina, but also mines in Canada, Peru, Mexico, USA and Chile. It also produces some gold through its Snowfield property.
Silvercorp Metals Inc. (TSX: SVM) – Production commenced in 2006 for this uniquely positioned producer focused on the Ying mine in central China. Silvercorp is a great way to play the China story, holding as it does the title of China’s largest primary silver producer. Also produces gold, zinc and lead.
Trace or Minimal Leverage to Silver
Other companies which have exposure to silver as a byproduct of primary mining (but not enough to consider them silver producers proper) include Lundin Mining Corp. (TSX: LUN), with silver in one of its Swedish properties; and IAMGold (TSX: IMG), which brings up 3-7% silver from its projects in Ecuador and Ghana. Alamos Gold Inc. (TSX: AGI) also has some properties still in the exploration stage which have turned up initial amounts of silver. There are also other companies on the TSX that mine silver, such as Coeur d’Alene (TSX: CDM), but not all are Canadian companies.
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