The PureFunds ISE Junior Silver ETF (ARCA:SILJ) is designed to expose investors to a variety of silver exploration and mining companies. These companies were chosen as they stand to benefit greatly from the discovery of a new deposit, higher production at their existing mines or through becoming a target of a takeover from a larger company. The ETF is the first to hold junior silver explorers and producers only. Here's a glance at some of the companies that PureFunds is keeping an eye on. Fortuna Silver Mines (TSX:FVI) Fortuna Silver Mines was founded in 2005, and produced 4.6 million ounces of silver and 21,242 ounces of gold in 2013. It aims to boost those production numbers to 6 million ounces of silver and 32,300 ounces of gold in 2014. The company has two underground silver mines in operation, along with further property holdings in Peru and Mexico. Its mines are the San Jose mine in Oaxaca, Mexico, which produces gold and silver, and the Caylloma mine in Arequipa, Peru, which puts out silver, lead and zinc. In late August, Fortuna released an updated mineral resource estimate for its San Jose mine, showing a 42-percent increase in silver ounces and a 29-percent increase in gold ounces compared to the previous resource estimate. The PureFunds ISE Junior Silver ETF holds 221,835 shares of Fortuna Silver Mines at a total market value of just under $1 million. MAG Silver (TSX:MAG) MAG Silver is focused on developing two projects in the Mexican Silver Belt. The company works on its main projects in a joint venture with Fresnillo (LSE:FRES), with interest split 44 percent to 56 percent, respectively. Those projects include the high-grade Valdecanas silver vein as well as the Desprendido and Juanicipio discoveries in Zacatecas.
The Juanicipio property has an indicated resource of 8.3 million tonnes containing 160 million ounces of silver in the Bonanza area. The company also owns the Cinco de Mayo property in Chihuahua, where silver, lead and zinc discoveries present opportunities for growth. The company is currently negotiating surface access in order to work with its 100-percent-owned properties at the site. The PureFunds ISE Junior Silver ETF holds 116,745 shares of MAG Silver for a total market value of nearly $900,000.Hochschild Mining (LSE:HOC) Hochschild Mining operates mines in Peru and Argentina, with drill targets, growth projects and development projects in Mexico, Peru and Chile. The company has 50 years of operating experience in these countries. The company traces its history to the Hochschild Group that Mauricio Hochschild founded in 1911. That company expanded into Bolivia and tin resources in 1922. The company began operating its first mines in the 1940s. Currently, the company's mines in Argentina and Peru produce many minerals. In 2013, the Arcata mine in Peru produced 49,840 ounces of silver. The Ares mine in Peru produced 7,570 ounces of silver in the same year, and the Pallancata mine in Peru produced 76,280 ounces of silver. The San Jose mine in Argentina produced 63,570 ounces of silver in 2013. The PureFunds ISE Junior Silver ETF holds 390,981 shares of Hochschild Mining, representing just under $1 million in market value. Silver Standard Resources (TSX:SSO) Silver Standard Resources is a company based in Vancouver with a focus on precious metals properties, from acquisition to operation. Its wholly owned Pirquitas mine in Argentina is one of the largest primary silver mines in the world, and has been in commercial production since December 2009. Pirquitas produced 8.2 million ounces of silver in 2013, and is expected to produce more in 2014. Silver Standard has several other projects in both North and South America. Pitarrilla, in Mexico, and San Luis, in Peru, are both in the feasibility stage, and the company plans to continue exploration activity at these projects through 2014. The PureFunds ISE Junior Silver ETF holds 129,181 shares of Silver Standard worth about $830,000.
Trevali Mining (TSX:TV)While Trevali Mining may be focused on zinc and other base metals, it does produce silver as well. Its Santander mine in Peru produces lead-silver concentrate, while its Caribou and Halfmile mines, both in Canada, will produce some silver. Some of its exploration properties in Peru and Canada are also prospective for silver along with base metals. The company is working to advance the Caribou Mine and Mill Complex toward production in 2015. Trevali focuses on underexplored terrain in countries that are friendly to mining and mineral development generally. The PureFunds ISE Junior Silver ETF has 441,000 shares of Trevali, amounting to nearly $500,000 in market value. PureFunds ISE Junior Silver ETF: Top 5 Holdings from Silver Investing News