Silver Hill mine is closing and the silver production at Silver Hill is shutting down, the mine operator announced Monday.
Silver Hill has operated for nearly 50 years.
It produces about 1,500 tons of silver annually and produces about 30 percent of the country’s annual consumption.
It has operations in Colorado, New Mexico and New York.
The closure will affect Silver Hill’s employees and customers, according to the mine’s owner, Jules Henson.
The mine’s closure is the result of changes to state law that will reduce the amount of state-owned property needed to operate, according Henson, a former chairman of the state’s mining commission.
It will also mean that the mine can no longer collect revenues from mining permits and taxes, he said.
The company’s final operating plan calls for operations at Silver Hills’ current site on Silver Hill Creek, which is about three miles east of the mine.
It also calls for the operation of Silver Hill, a new mine site on the nearby Navajo Nation reservation.
Silverhill has about 700 employees.
It is located near the Silver Hill River and sits about 10 miles north of Silverton.
Henson said the mine is one of the few remaining commercial mines in New Mexico.
It was owned by the state until 1995.
The New Mexico Department of Mines and Minerals is handling the shutdown, spokesman Dan Williams said in an email.
State law changes are part of the $1.6 billion, four-year plan for the Navajo Nation that has created the Navajo Mining Development Corporation, Williams said.