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Greens Creek on pace for 9.5M oz silver

 

Last updated 10/18/2019 at 5:21am

Hecla Mining Company

Hecla's implementation of new technologies at Greens Creek, such as this semi-autonomous long-haul loader, are contributing to the high silver production at this Alaska mine.

Hecla Mining Company Oct. 7 reported that its Greens Creek Mine in Southeast Alaska produced 2.54 million ounces of silver during the third quarter, a 36 percent increase over the 1.88 million oz produced during the same period of 2018.

Through the first nine months of 2019, Greens Creek has produced 7.15 million oz of silver. This is up 24 percent compared to the first three quarters of last year and puts the Southeast Alaska operation on pace to produce 9.5 million oz of the precious metal this year.

In addition to silver, the Juneau-area mine also produces gold, zinc and lead as by-products. While Hecla does not report the base metals produced at Greens Creek during its preliminary quarterly production results, the Idaho-based miner reports that the Southeast Alaska operation produced 77,331 oz of gold during the three months ending Sept. 30, which is up six percent from the third quarter of 2018.

Overall, Hecla's five mines – Greens Creek, Lucky Friday, San Sebastian, Nevada Operations and Casa Berardi (gold only) – produced 3.29 million oz of silver, 77,331 oz of gold, 31.18 million pounds of zinc and 12.45 million lb of lead during the three months ending Sept. 30.

Here is a breakdown of Hecla's third quarter silver and gold production by mine:

• Greens Creek (Alaska) produced 2.54 million oz of silver and 13,684 oz of gold. The mill operated at an average of 2,321 tons per day.

• Casa Berardi (Ontario) produced 36,547 oz of gold. The mill operated at an average of 3,667 tpd.

• San Sebastian (Mexico) produced 583,658 oz of silver and 4,719 oz of gold. The mill operated at an average of 586 tpd.

• Nevada Operations produced 43,377 oz of silver and 22,381 oz of gold. The two mills that make up Nevada Operations – Midas and Aurora – averaged a combined of 695 tpd.

Hecla Mining Company

Underground development at Greens Creek, a Southeast Alaska mine that accounted for roughly 77 percent of the silver produced by Hecla during the third quarter.

• Lucky Friday (Idaho) produced 115,682 oz of silver from limited production performed by salaried staff during the quarter.

As a result of the strong quarterly metals production, Hecla ended the third quarter with roughly US$33 million in cash and cash-equivalents, a US$24 million increase over the second quarter.

"As expected, our third quarter operating and financial performance improved," said Hecla Mining President and CEO Phillips Baker, Jr. "We knew that dialing back our expenditures while achieving our expected production and sales targets would increase our cash flow generation. We expect more of the same in the fourth quarter."

The company is on pace to produce 12 million oz of silver, 264,000 oz of gold, 112.8 million lb of zinc and 41 million lb of lead during 2019.

–SHANE LASLEY

 

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