Investors are looking for yield, and in doing so, have pushed mining companies to return more capital in the form of dividends. Though there are more options for gold miners, silver investors do not have to ditch the sector to get a stream of income. Below are silver mining companies that have heeded the call and are paying dividends.
Pan American Silver
Latest dividend: $0.125
Dividend yield: 3.96 percent
With a dividend yield near 4 percent, Pan American Silver (TSX:PAA,NASDAQ:PAAS) tops this list.
The company announced in February a 150-percent hike in its dividend, to $0.125, making its annual rate $0.50 per common share. That is the fourth and largest increase the company has implemented since it started paying dividends in 2010.
Having paid out $24.9 million, or $0.175 per common share, in 2012, Pan American's payments were already more than twice the amount doled out in 2011.
Pan American's chairman, Ross Beaty, said last year that the company maintains one of the best balance sheets in the business. Cash generation is exceptional and the dividend is well supported, assuming silver and gold prices remain at or above current levels, he added.
BMO Capital recently downgraded Pan American's stock because the company reduced its silver price forecast for 2013. Still, there does not appear to be an imminent threat to shareholders' rewards. The company's 2012 annual report notes record liquidity and states that $193 million of cash flow from operations is enough to fund all capital programs.
Latest dividend: C$0.025
Dividend yield: 3.65 percent
Silvercorp Metals' (TSX:SVM,NYSE:SVM) dividend history extends back further than any company on this list. Silvercorp began rewarding shareholders in 2007 with an annual dividend of C$.05 per share. The company's most recent hike was a 25-percent increase in November 2011, from $0.02 to $0.025, or $0.10 per share annualized.