If you want to invest in silver, one of the best ways is to get your money in a silver mining company via the stock exchange. This way you are not only benefiting when that company finds a new or substantial yield, but also when the price of silver goes up. This is a direct way of benefiting from raw silver, and one that many experienced precious metal investors prefer.
What is a “Junior”?
The term “junior mining company” refers to mining companies in many sectors, not just silver. It denotes a company that produces less than 5 million ounces per year. Junior companies tend to aim for new deposits, and those that have been touted as having high potential. They are considered higher-risk than senior mining companies, which are as close as you will get to a “blue-chip” company in this sector.
Because they are constantly searching for new silver deposits, junior mining companies are often referred to as “treasure hunters” or “prospectors”, which also goes some way to explaining just why shares in such companies are considered so volatile.
What is a “Senior”?
As mentioned above, a senior mining company is built from a stronger foundation than a junior, producing more than 10 million ounces a year and understanding where that output is going to come from. There are fewer of these companies than there are junior mining companies, but they are generally considered to be a much safer and a far more stable investment.
How to Buy
To buy stock in a silver mining company you first need to ensure that they are publicly listed. Many silver mining companies are, as this is an easy way for them to generate cash flow. A listing on the stock exchange effectively means that they can sell a share of their company, with the value of that share increasing every time the company does well.
A company will choose one or two stock markets to list on, and you will find the biggest companies in any given country listed on that country’s biggest market. It is not always easy to invest in overseas stock markets, but you can do so if you set up an online account with a broker, allowing you to access everything from the New York Stock Exchange to the London Stock Exchange.
There are many benefits to both junior and senior mining companies. With the former it is easy to get cheap shares for a company on the rise, watching as that junior prospecting company turns into a senior with endless assets and a stockpile that anyone would envy. With a senior company you are investing more in silver than in the company, as they have already succeeded, and will likely continue to be successful. Any future rises or falls will be dependent on the value of the precious metal.
The Biggest Silver Mining Companies
Many of the world’s biggest silver mining companies are in Canada, but the nation that produces the most silver is Mexico, followed by Peru, China, Australia and Chile. In fact, Canada isn’t even in the top ten, but that doesn’t stop it from producing 6 names on our list of the ten biggest silver mining companies*
10. Coeur D’Alene Mines Corp — Based in the United States
9. First Majestic Silver Corp — Based in Canada
8. Silver Standard Resources — Based in Canada
7. MAG Silver Corp — Based in Canada
6. Hecla Mining — Based in United States
5. Pretium Resources — Based in the United States
4. Pan American Silver Corp — Based in Canada
3. Tahoe Resources — Based in Canada
2. Fresnillo — Based in the United Kingdom
1. Silver Wheaton Corp — Based in Canada
*Only publicly traded companies are listed. This list is based on market capitalization, from highest to lowest.