Hecla nears 125-year record; Greens Creek sets silver pace
Last updated 2/5/2018 at 7:25pm
Hecla Mining Co. Oct. 18 said it Greens Creek Mine in Southeast Alaska produced 2.4 million ounces of silver in the third quarter, accounting for more than half of the company's silver production for the period. This silver production is a 23 percent jump over the same period last year, thanks to higher grades.
Gold production, however, dropped 17 percent to 14,376 oz. due to lower grades.
Hecla estimates Greens Creek silver production to be 8.5 million oz. in 2016, significantly higher than the company's original guidance of 8.1 million oz. at the end of the year.
Through the first nine months of 2016, Greens Creek has produced 7 million oz. of silver, putting the Southeast Alaska operation on pace to top 9 million oz. this year.
Hecla anticipates 53,000 oz. of gold to be produced at Greens Creek this year.
Hecla's four operations - Greens Creek, Lucky Friday in Idaho, Casa Berardi in Ontario and San Sebastian in Mexico - produced 4.3 million oz. of silver during the third quarter, a 67 percent increase compared to the same period of 2015.
Companywide gold production was up 20 percent, to 52,126 oz. for the quarter.
"The strong performance from all our mines enables us to increase our silver production estimate to 16.25 million oz. for 2016, the highest silver production in our 125-year history,"said Hecla President and CEO Phillips Baker, Jr.
Hecla had roughly US$192 million in cash and short-term investments at the end of September, an increase of about US$33 million for the quarter.
"We continue to see substantial free cash flow generation, with higher prices and silver and gold production up 67 percent and 20 percent, respectively, over last year," added Baker.