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Hecla Mining CEO Phil Baker steps down

North of 60 Mining News – May 31, 2024

Chair Catherine Boggs will fill vacancy as company seeks new executive for largest silver producer in the U.S.

After nearly 23 years serving as president and CEO of Hecla Mining Company, Phillips Baker Jr. suddenly stepped down as the top executive of the silver-focused mining company with operations in Alaska, Idaho, Quebec, and Yukon.

"I would like to thank Phil for his years of service and valued contributions to Hecla and the silver industry overall," said Hecla Chair Catherine Boggs, who is taking over the president and CEO role on an interim basis. "The board will immediately begin a search for a new chief executive, and we are confident that we will find the right, highly qualified individual to lead Hecla."

Phillips Baker, Jr.

While Hecla has framed Baker's departure as a retirement, the suddenness of his stepping down as both an executive and director, along with no one in place to fill the vacuum, suggests that his leaving was unplanned.

Until a new permanent top executive is found, Hecla has shifted leadership roles and responsibilities within its organization.

"Hecla's day-to-day mining operations will carry on unabated with the talented and dedicated staff we have at all our operations and at our headquarters," said Boggs. "Senior management and I will continue to support and guide our operations and personnel throughout this leadership transition."

Catherine Boggs

With more than 40 years of experience in the mining space, Boggs is highly capable of leading Hecla through this transitional period.

Her resume includes several leadership roles at Barrick Gold Corp., including serving as CEO of Tethyan Copper Company, a joint venture company co-owned by Barrick; interim president of Barrick's African Business Unit; and as interim general counsel of African Barrick Gold. More recently, she served as general counsel at Resource Capital Funds from 2011 until her retirement in 2019.

Having served on Hecla's board since 2019 and as chair since 2022, Boggs is also familiar with the silver company's operations.

These operations include the Greens Creek mine in Southeast Alaska, which accounted for 68% of the 14.3 million ounces of silver produced by Hecla during 2023; the iconic Lucky Friday silver mine in Idaho; the Casa Berardi gold mine in Quebec; and Keno Hill, the newest addition to the company's operation assets.

In addition to its operating mines, Hecla has ongoing exploration projects in the United States, Canada, and Mexico.

The interim president and CEO will be assisted in managing these mines and exploration projects by a committee comprised of Russell Lawlar, a senior vice president and CFO; Carlos Aguilar, vice president of operations; and Mike Clary, a senior vice president and chief administrative officer.

"I am grateful for the opportunity to take on the role of interim president and CEO during this time of growth and innovation for our company, and I look forward to working alongside Hecla's team of experienced operators and executives as we continue to deliver on our plans to create long-term value for shareholders," Boggs said.

Author Bio

Shane Lasley, Publisher

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Over his more than 16 years of covering mining and mineral exploration, Shane has become renowned for his ability to report on the sector in a way that is technically sound enough to inform industry insiders while being easy to understand by a wider audience.


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