NEW YORK, NY -- (Marketwire) -- 06/26/12 -- Silver stocks have struggled in 2012 amidst growing concerns of a global economic slowdown. Around 50 percent of silver's demand comes from industrial uses, which has suffered significantly from the euro-zone crisis. The Global X Silver Miners (SIL) has fallen over 18 percent in the last three months, while the iShares Silver Trust ETF (SLV) has fallen over 16 percent over the same period. The Paragon Report examines investing opportunities in the Silver Industry and provides equity research on Hecla Mining Company (NYSE: HL) and Great Panther Silver Ltd. (NYSE: GPL).
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Silver prices last Friday hit a new 19-month low as both industrial and investment demand for the precious metal has slowed. Silver for July delivery settled at $26.661 per troy ounce Friday, the lowest since November of 2010. The recent decision by the Federal Reserve to not pursue aggressive stimulus measures has reduced investment demand for safe havens, gold and silver. "In light of silver industrial demand slowing down and investment demand failing to plug the gap, it is the precious metal most vulnerable on the downside," Barclays' Suki Cooper said in a note.
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Hecla Mining Company has distinguished itself as the largest and lowest cash cost silver producer in the U.S. The company has two operating mines and exploration properties in four world-class silver mining districts in the U.S. and Mexico. The company reported for the first quarter of 2012 silver production of 1.3 million ounces at a total cash cost of $2.24 per ounce.
Great Panther Silver's current activities are focused on the mining of precious metals from its two wholly-owned operating mines in Mexico. The Company also owns a development stage property, San Ignacio, and an exploration stage property, Santa Rosa. In addition, the Company is also pursuing acquisition opportunities throughout Latin America to add additional mines to its portfolio of properties. Shares of the company have fallen over 22 percent in the last three months.
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