Argentina's President, the Secretary of Mining, and other federal and provincial officials helped inaugurate the Pirquitas silver mine Monday in San Salvador de Jujuy.

Silver Standard President and CEO Robert Quartermain and senior corporate and in-country management officials helped celebrate the opening of the Vancouver company's first mine.

The $230 million Pirquitas mine is expected to produce six million ounces of silver this year and average 10 million ounces annually over its 14.5-year mine life, making it Argentina's largest silver mine and one of the largest primary silver mines in the world.

Last month, Silver Standard estimated that mining, milling and administrative costs will average US$26/tonne over the life of the mine.

In a news release, Quartermain said, We are honoured by Presidenta [Cristina Fernandez de]Kirchner's recognition of our investment and achievements at Pirquitas and look forward to many years of mining operations at Mina Pirquitas.

Silver Standard has reported 195.1 million ounces of proven and probable silver reserves company-wide and measured and indicated silver resources of 995.2 million ounces.