Silver Mining

The process of silver mining has been around for thousands of years and was long recognized by the ancient societies as an important way to take advantage of natural stores of precious resources. Many ancient civilizations, such as the Greek and Roman societies, were built on massive stores of silver and silver mining. Today, silver mining still exists, although the process has changed dramatically since its inception. Still, as more and more silver is extracted, even more advanced methods will be used to get silver deep from within the Earth’s surface. Here is a brief guide to modern day silver mining and future methods of silver extraction.

Silver is currently mined in the form of nuggets and is often mixed with other precious metals, such as gold, copper, copper-nickel, and lead. Typically, a form of silver refining is necessary to extract each metal on its own for the purposes of using it for products or coinage. Believe it or not, Mexico is actually the world’s 2nd largest silver producer and has many silver deposits spread throughout the country.

The process of creating a pure form of silver is called silver refining and is the 2nd step in silver mining. Typically, an acid bath is used to melt down the silver and create pure bullion, which can then be transformed into silver coins, silver bars, or silver electrical components. Silver is very commonly used for jewelry and also has a high conductive value and is very useful for circuit boards and computer technology.

Most of the silver actually extracted in the United States is a byproduct of other forms of mining. Typically, the main forms of mining are sluicing and hard-wall extraction. Sluicing involves setting up trenches in irrigation pits so that the heavy metals can fall to the bottom. The same method is used for gold mining as well. The problem with extracting silver in this manner is that it is much lighter than gold and as a result much more difficult to sluice. Hard wall extraction uses heavy picks and drills to actually bore into the walls of silver mines to extract the silver ore and silver nuggets. The older and more traditional methods, such as silver panning also exist, but not nearly as much as they used to. The preferable method of extracting silver is to remove chunks of rock containing all sorts of precious metals and separate them individually. In the future, as silver become rarer, they will have to invent new forms of extraction so as to be able to fully capitalize on every silver store in the world.

Silver mining is an interesting process that has resulted in huge sums of wealth being discovered over the course of history. Although much of the world’s silver has already been extracted, there is still a long way to go to capture it all. In the meantime, silver values continue to climb slowly but surely indicating that silver will continue to be a good investment for some time to come. If you are interested in learning more about silver investing and refining, then spend some time looking around this website and you will find several more guides just like this one.


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