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Gold Resource Corp (NYSE MKT:GORO) reached a major milestone for a junior precious metals producer earlier this week, having returned more than $100 million back to its shareholders in just over four years since beginning production at its El Aguila mine in Mexico.

The company on Thursday declared its monthly dividend of 1 cent per share for September, payable on October 23 to shareholders of record as of October 13. 

It surpassed the $100 million mark of total return to shareholders with its August dividend payment on September 23. The company said it has now paid 51 straight monthly dividends to shareholders since declaring commercial production in July 2010.

"This achievement is not only rare for a junior miner, but coupled with our conversion program allowing shareholders to convert cash dividends to physical gold and silver, is unique to this industry," said president and chief executive officer, Jason Reid, in a statement Thursday.

"Both the level of dividends and the cash to physical metal conversion option underscores management's shareholder friendly and focused philosophy. 

"We remain committed to monthly dividends and the physical conversion option not only during these current volatile metal markets, but look forward to the future when hopefully the bull market in the metals space returns."

The U.S. based gold producer, which produces from its El Aguila mine in Mexico, swung to a net profit in its second quarter as revenues increased 26 percent and cash costs improved by 32 percent, making it among the lowest cost gold producers, according to its CEO. 

All-in sustaining costs, an industry-wide metric, came in at just $837 per ounce, well below the $1,000 mark, which the company says it will strive to achieve for as long as possible in the face of continued rising costs in the industry. Its costs per tonne were $159, it said.

The miner said that its continued goal is to position the company to "capitalize and prosper" when precious metals markets resume their longer term bull trend, which Reid says will result from "fuel added to the supply and demand fire that has been burning for years now" due to an anemic junior explorer environment coupled with rising costs and weaker prices.

It is currently focused on identifying additional cost savings opportunities at its operations while increasing future production, with the company optimistic that its new Switchback discovery will be the next economic deposit at El Aguila. The company is targeting the completion of the first drill station at Switchback late in the third quarter.

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