10% increase in silver production over Q4
Hecla Mining Company (NYSE:HL) today announced its preliminary
silver and gold production and progress on Keno Hill for the first
quarter of 2023.1
HIGHLIGHTS (1st Quarter 2023 compared to 4th Quarter
- 10% increase in silver production and as anticipated 9%
decrease in gold production.
- Greens Creek silver production increased 14%.
- Lucky Friday silver production increased 3%.
- Lead production increased 6%, zinc production unchanged.
- Development at Keno Hill 30% more than the fourth quarter.
“Hecla's silver mines delivered another strong operational
quarter with new milestones achieved at both Greens Creek and Lucky
Friday," said Phillips S. Baker, Jr., President and CEO. "Greens
Creek set a new quarterly throughput record as we continue our work
towards achieving 2,600 tpd while Lucky Friday reported its fourth
consecutive quarter of silver production exceeding 1 million
ounces. Keno Hill’s increased development keeps it on track for
commencing production in the third quarter, so silver production is
expected to be in excess of 2.5 million ounces for the year."
Baker continued, “This quarter’s production growth is an
important step toward producing approximately 17 million ounces of
silver this year and increasing production to 20 million ounces by
2025, allowing Hecla to continue to be the world’s fastest growing
established silver producer."
The Greens Creek mine produced 2.8 million ounces of silver and
14,885 ounces of gold in the first quarter, an increase of 14% and
15%, respectively, over the fourth quarter of 2022. The mill
achieved a new throughput record of 2,591 tons per day (tpd) for
the quarter. Increased silver production was due to a combination
of higher throughput, a 3% increase in grade, and a 9% increase in
recovery. Increased gold production was attributable to higher
throughput and recovery partially offset by lower grades.
The Lucky Friday mine produced 1.3 million ounces of silver in
the first quarter of 2023, compared to 1.2 million ounces produced
in the fourth quarter (a 3% increase). The increase is primarily
attributable to a 5% increase in mill throughput. Mill throughput
of 1,059 tpd in the first quarter of 2023 continued to build upon
multiple milestones achieved in 2022, as the mine strives to
achieve annual throughput of 425,000 tons.
The Casa Berardi mine produced 24,686 ounces of gold in the
first quarter of 2023, an anticipated decline of 20% compared to
30,709 ounces in the fourth quarter. Gold production declined
primarily due to a 31% decline in underground tons processed and
14% lower underground grades, partially offset by 27% higher
surface tons processed. The mill operated at an average of 4,768
tpd, an increase of 4% over the prior quarter.
At the Keno Hill mine, development remains on pace for a third
quarter mill start. Planned development before starting production
is 65% complete. Ore is beginning to be mined to create a stockpile
to provide operational flexibility on startup. The mill is
undergoing a variety of minor modifications with more planned, as
well as testing various areas of the mill before starting
production. Throughput is projected to reach 440 tpd by the end of
the year with silver production forecast to exceed 2.5 million
ounces. Initial production is expected to come from the Flame &
Moth deposit followed by the higher grade Bermingham deposit.
Three Months Ended
Greens Creek - Silver (oz)
Greens Creek - Gold (oz)
Lucky Friday - Silver (oz)
Casa Berardi - Gold (oz)
See cautionary statement regarding
preliminary statements at the end of this release.
Silver and gold equivalent calculation
based on the respective average annual metal prices as follows:
$22.56 for Ag, $1,888.63 for Au, $0.97 for Pb, and $1.42 for
Founded in 1891, Hecla Mining Company (NYSE: HL) is the largest
silver producer in the United States. In addition to operating
mines in Alaska, Idaho, and Quebec, Canada, the Company is
developing a mine in the Yukon, Canada, and owns a number of
exploration and pre-development projects in world-class silver and
gold mining districts throughout North America.
Cautionary Statements Regarding Estimates and Forward-Looking
All measures of the Company's first quarter 2023 operating
results contained in this release are preliminary and reflect the
Company’s expected results as of the date of this release. Actual
reported first quarter 2023 results are subject to management's
final review as well as review by the Company's independent
registered accounting firm and may vary significantly from current
expectations because of a number of factors, including, without
limitation, additional or revised information and changes in
accounting standards or policies or in how those standards are
Statements made or information provided in this news release
that are not historical facts are "forward-looking statements"
within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as
amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as
amended, which are intended to be covered by the safe harbor
created by such sections and other applicable laws, and
"forward-looking information" within the meaning of Canadian
securities laws. When a forward-looking statement expresses or
implies an expectation or belief as to future events or results,
such expectation or belief is expressed in good faith and believed
to have a reasonable basis. However, such statements are subject to
risks, uncertainties and other factors, which could cause actual
results to differ materially from future results expressed,
projected or implied by the forward-looking statements.
Forward-looking statements often address our expected future
business and financial performance and financial condition and
often contain words such as “anticipate,” “intend,” “plan,” “will,”
“could,” “would,” “estimate,” “should,” “expect,” “believe,”
“project,” “target,” “indicative,” “preliminary,” “potential” and
similar expressions. Forward-looking statements in this news
release may include, without limitation: (i) Keno Hill will achieve
complete ramp-up in 2023 to 440 tpd and production will exceed 2.5
million ounces in 2023 and (ii) the Company will produce 17 million
ounces of silver in 2023, increasing to 20 million ounces by 2025.
Estimates or expectations of future events or results are based
upon certain assumptions, which may prove to be incorrect, which
could cause actual results to differ from forward-looking
statements. Such assumptions, include, but are not limited to: (i)
there being no significant change to current geotechnical,
metallurgical, hydrological and other physical conditions; (ii)
permitting, development, operations and expansion of the Company’s
projects being consistent with current expectations and mine plans;
(iii) political/regulatory developments in any jurisdiction in
which the Company operates being consistent with its current
expectations; (iv) certain price assumptions for gold, silver, lead
and zinc; (v) prices for key supplies being approximately
consistent with current levels; (vi) the accuracy of our current
mineral reserve and mineral resource estimates; (vii) the Company’s
plans for development and production will proceed as expected and
will not require revision as a result of risks or uncertainties,
whether known, unknown or unanticipated; (viii) sufficient
workforce is available and trained to perform assigned tasks; (ix)
weather patterns and rain/snowfall within normal seasonal ranges so
as not to impact operations; (x) relations with interested parties,
including Native Americans, remain productive; and (xi) factors do
not arise that reduce available cash balances.
In addition, material risks that could cause actual results to
differ from forward-looking statements include but are not limited
to: (i) gold, silver and other metals price volatility; (ii)
operating risks; (iii) currency fluctuations; (iv) increased
production costs and variances in ore grade or recovery rates from
those assumed in mining plans; (v) community relations; and (vi)
litigation, political, regulatory, labor and environmental risks.
For a more detailed discussion of such risks and other factors, see
the Company's 2022 Form 10-K filed on February 17, 2023 for a more
detailed discussion of factors that may impact expected future
results. The Company undertakes no obligation and has no intention
of updating forward-looking statements other than as may be
required by law.
version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20230413005227/en/
For further information, please contact:
Anvita M. Patil Vice President – Investor Relations and
Cheryl Turner Communications Coordinator
800-HECLA91 (800-432-5291) Investor Relations Email:
email@example.com Website: www.hecla.com
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