The mining newspaper for Alaska and Canada's North

Mining Explorers 2014: Hecla Mining Company


President and CEO: Phillips Baker Jr.

Chairman: Ted Crumley

Senior VP, Exploration: Dean McDonald

Idaho-based Hecla Mining Co. is the largest primary silver producer in the United States and is a growing gold producer.

The company operates the Greens Greek silver mine in Southeast Alaska, the Lucky Friday silver mine in Idaho and the Casa Berardi gold mine in Quebec.

Hecla planned to invest US$21 million for exploration and pre-development in 2014.

This spending is focused primarily at its three operations and San Sebastian, an advanced silver-gold project in Mexico.

Greens Creek has been the primary revenue generator for Hecla in recent years and much of the company's exploration is focused on replacing reserves at the mine with underground drilling and seeking new deposits across the 27-square-mile (70 square kilometers) property from the surface.

The underground portion focused largely on testing the 200 South and Deep 200 South zones, a mineralization trend that stretches more than 900 meters along strike and more than 300 meters of dip.

Hecla said this year's drilling of Deep 200 South has confirmed the resource model and shows the upper limb of the bench fold extends up to 50 meters further east than previously estimated.

Drilling of the bench mineralization provided some of the widest and highest grade intercepts in Greens Creek's recent history, including: 85.1 ounces per ton silver, 0.18 oz/ton gold, 10.2 percent zinc, and 4.8 percent lead over 12.9 feet; and 44.3 oz/ton silver, 0.40 oz/ton gold, 23.1 percent zinc, and 12.4 percent lead over 3.2 feet.

The company said drill intersections at the Deep 200 South continue to be very encouraging and mineralization remains open to the south.

Additional exploration drilling tested for mineralization along the limbs of the lower fold; the projected intersection of the Gallagher Fault and the Deep 200 South mineralization; and a 1,000 foot gap in drilling at the junction of the projection of the Southwest Bench, 200 South and Deep 200 South.

Definition and pre-production drilling during the first half of 2014 continued to upgrade the 5250, West Wall and Deep Southwest resources at Greens Creek.

A planned 6,000-meter surface program that included three surface drills targeting the south, middle and north regions of Killer Creek began in mid-June.

This drilling aims to follow up on broad zones of high-grade copper, silver, lead and zinc mineralization defined by surface drill programs in over the previous two years.

During 2013, drilling in the Killer Creek area, which is less than a mile from the current Greens Creek mine infrastructure, intersected broad mineralized zones up to 120 meters with stringer veins locally grading as high as 10 percent copper and 10.4 percent combined lead-zinc.

Widely spaced drilling at this prospect currently covers an area of 2,500 feet by 2,500 feet and suggests mineralization open in all directions.

In general, the northern holes drilled at Killer Creek are more copper-gold rich and the southeast area is more zinc, lead and silver rich.

Hecla believes these "stockwork veins" are characteristic of a vent or source area for the mineralizing fluids for either the Greens Creek deposit or a completely separate sulfide deposit.

In addition to better defining the outward extent of the stockwork area, this year's drilling aims to intercept the mine contact at depth.

Cash and short-term deposits: US$222.1 million (June 30, 2014)

Working capital: US$199.8 million (June 30, 2014)

Market capitalization: US$928.7 million (Sept. 26, 2014)

6500 N Mineral Dr., Suite 200

Coeur d'Alene, ID 83815-9408

Tel: 208-769-4100

Fax: 208-769-7612


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