Greens Creek stays on 10M oz silver pace
Alaska mine produces 2.6M oz silver, 12,859 oz gold during Q2 North of 60 Mining News – July 16, 2021
Last updated 7/22/2021 at 4:50pm
Hecla Mining Company July 13 reported that its Greens Creek Mine in Southeast Alaska produced 5.14 million ounces of silver and 25,377 oz of gold through the first half of 2021. This accounts for more than 73% of the 6.98 million oz of silver and nearly 23% of the 111,143 oz of gold produced at Hecla mines so far this year.
During the second quarter, Greens Creek produced 2.56 million oz of silver and 12,859 oz of gold. The silver output is roughly par with the first quarter but down 7% from the 2.75 million oz produced during the same period of 2020. The gold production is down about 3% from the first quarter and about 2% from the second quarter of last year.
Hecla attributes the lower silver production during the second quarter to lower grades resulting from mine sequencing. The mill operated at an average of 2,362 tons per day during the second quarter, which is nearly the same as the 2,366 tpd throughput during the second quarter of last year.
Overall, Hecla's four mines currently in operation – Greens Creek, Lucky Friday (Idaho), Casa Berardi (Quebec), and Nevada Operations (Nevada) – produced 3.52 million oz of silver and 59,139 oz of gold during the second quarter.
Greens Creek's percentage of Hecla's total silver production is expected to decrease with the company's Lucky Friday Mine ramping back up to full capacity. During the second quarter, Lucky Friday produced 913,294 oz of silver, nearly double the 469,537 oz produced during the second quarter of last year.
"With steady growth in silver production at the Lucky Friday Mine and solid operating performance from our Greens Creek Mine, we achieved our second highest quarterly silver production since 2016," said Hecla's President and CEO Phillips Baker, Jr. "This strong performance combined with steady prices delivered an increase of approximately $41 million in cash, the fifth consecutive quarter of increasing cash reserves and one of the highest increases in Hecla's history."
Hecla went into the second half of 2021 with approximately $181 million in cash and cash equivalents, and its revolving line of credit is undrawn.