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The US silver mining market has been forecast to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.3% over the next eight years, increasing from a production value of 36,008 thousand ounces in 2011, to reach 63,118.8 thousand ounces in 2020.
Silver mining was a driving force in the settlement of western North America, with major booms for silver and associated minerals (lead, mostly) in the galena ore silver is most commonly found in. Notable silver rushes were in Colorado, Nevada, Cobalt, Ontario, California and the Kootenay region of British Columbia, notably in the Boundary and "Silvery" Slocan.
Silver mining in the United States began on a major scale with the discovery of the Comstock Lode in Nevada in 1858. The industry suffered greatly from the demonetisation of silver in 1873 by the "Crime of 73," but silver mining continues today.
Positive growth within the industry can be predominantly attributed to increasing production at the operating mines and the scheduled commencement of new silver projects.
The Aurcana Corporation owned the Shafter mine that commenced production in June 2012, and this could be the US' second and amongst the world's top 20 largest primary silver mine in the coming years.
Located in Texas, the mine is expected to produce 3.8 million ounces of silver at a cash cost of $8.7 per ounce in its first year of operation (Aurcana Corporation, 2012).
The Silver Institute said that prices have soared this year due to investment and industrial demand, which will keep silver's price "strong" over the remainder of the year. The primary reason for this revolves around the simple fact that it is not easy to substitute any other metal in for practical, industrial uses requiring silver.
For more information on the US silver mining market, see the latest research: US Silver Mining Market
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