Hecla Reports 2.9 Million Ounces of Silver and 60,021 Ounces of Gold Production in First Quarter 2019

COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Hecla Mining Company (NYSE:HL)
today announced preliminary silver and gold production results for the
first quarter of 2019.1


  • Silver production of 2.9 million ounces, and gold production of 60,021
  • Silver equivalent production of 10.8 million ounces or gold equivalent
    production of 129,378 ounces.2
  • Lead production of 5,785 tons; zinc production of 13,943 tons.
  • Cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments of approximately $12
    million at March 31, 2019.

“Silver production was higher in the quarter due to the standout
performance from our most important mine, Greens Creek, with higher gold
and silver grades and recoveries than the first quarter of 2018,” said
Phillips S. Baker, Jr., Hecla’s President and CEO. “As we indicated with
our technical report we expected higher grades at Greens Creek. The
Lucky Friday also contributed with more silver production in the quarter
than was achieved all of last year. San Sebastian production was about
the same as last year’s fourth quarter. Quarterly gold production was
higher than last year, but we expect significant production increases
from Casa and the Nevada assets in the second half of the year.”

“With the recent decline in interest rates, one of our priorities over
the next year is to extend the maturity of our high yield notes,” Mr.
Baker added.

Greens Creek

At the Greens Creek mine, 2.2 million ounces of silver and 14,328 ounces
of gold were produced. Higher silver and gold production, when compared
to the first quarter of 2018, was due to higher ore grades as well as
increased recoveries, partially offset by lower mill throughput. The
mill operated at an average of 2,298 tons per day (tpd).

Casa Berardi

At the Casa Berardi mine, 31,799 ounces of gold were produced, including
6,535,ounces from the East Mine Crown Pillar pit, with the decrease
compared to the first quarter of 2018 due to lower ore tonnage, recovery
and grades. Tonnage was affected by the December 2018 replacement of the
crusher with a higher-capacity crusher. Subsequent sizing issues
required planned adjustments in the first quarter to a number of mill
components, which impacted the throughput. With the excess mined
material in stockpile, the ounces should be recovered during the rest of
the year. Recoveries were impacted principally by the loss of a CIL tank
drivetrain, and a new drivetrain is expected to be installed by early
May. Mined grades underground were 9 percent higher than projected. The
mill operated at an average of 3,664 tpd.

San Sebastian

At the San Sebastian mine, 0.4 million ounces of silver and 3,530 ounces
of gold were produced with the decrease due to the expected lower
grades. The mill operated at an average of 494 tpd.

A review of sulfide ore continues, including a bulk sample to test the
capabilities of the third-party plant and the suitability of long-hole
stoping for the ore body, with results expected by the fourth quarter of

Nevada Operations

At the Nevada operations, 10,364 ounces of gold and 67,438 ounces of
silver were produced. During the quarter, the focus continued on
establishing a robust development program in a variety of ground
conditions at Fire Creek and Hollister, rather than on production which
is expected to be second half-weighted this year. A minor amendment to
the water discharge permit for Fire Creek is expected in the second
quarter which should enable a higher discharge rate. In addition,
changes to the carbon circuit of the Midas mill are expected to improve
recoveries. Ore was processed at an average of 460 tpd (combined Midas
and Aurora mills).

Lucky Friday

At the Lucky Friday mine, 173,627 ounces of silver were produced, a 74%
increase over Q1 2018. As a result of the ongoing strike by unionized
employees, there was limited production and capital improvements,
performed by salaried staff, and limited shipments of concentrate in the
first quarter.

(1)   See cautionary statement regarding preliminary statements at the end
of this release.
(2) Silver and gold equivalent calculation based on average actual
prices for each metal in the year as follows: $15.57 for Ag, $1,304
for Au, $0.92 for Pb, and $1.23 for Zn.


  First Quarter Ended  
    March 31, 2019   March 31, 2018  

% increase

Silver (oz) 2,923,131   2,534,095 15%
Gold (oz) 60,021 57,808 4%
Lead (tons)1 5,785 5,627 3%
Zinc (tons) 13,943 15,211 (8%)
Greens Creek – Silver (oz) 2,232,747 1,913,232 17%
Greens Creek – Gold (oz) 14,328 13,118 9%
Lucky Friday – Silver (oz)1 173,627 99,780 74%
San Sebastian – Silver (oz) 441,079 512,192 (14%)
San Sebastian – Gold (oz) 3,530 4,513 (22%)
Casa Berardi – Gold (oz)2 31,799 40,177 (21%)
Nevada Operations – Silver (oz)3 67,438 N/A N/A
Nevada Operations – Gold (oz)3 10,364 N/A N/A
(1)   Union workers at Lucky Friday have been on strike since March 13,
2017. Limited production being carried out by salaried staff.
(2) Casa Berardi also produced 8,240 ounces of silver in the first
quarter 2019 compared to 8,891 ounces of silver for first quarter of
(3) The Nevada operations were acquired on July 20, 2018.


Founded in 1891, Hecla Mining Company (NYSE:HL)
is a leading low-cost U.S. silver producer with operating mines in
Alaska, Idaho and Mexico, and is a growing gold producer with an
operating mine in Quebec, Canada. The Company also has exploration and
pre-development properties in seven world-class silver and gold mining
districts in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, and an exploration office and
investments in early-stage silver exploration projects in Canada.

Cautionary Statements Regarding Preliminary Results

All measures of the Company’s first quarter 2019 operating and financial
results contained in this news release, including cash, cash equivalents
and short-term investments, are preliminary and reflect the Company’s
expected results as of the date of this news release. Actual reported
first quarter 2019 results are subject to management’s final review as
well as review by the Company’s independent registered public accounting
firm and may vary significantly from those 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 applied.

Cautionary Statements Regarding Forward Looking Statements

Statements made or information provided in this news release that are
not historical facts are “forward-looking statements” within the meaning
of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and
“forward-looking information” within the meaning of Canadian securities
laws. Words such as “may”, “will”, “should”, “expects”, “intends”,
“projects”, “believes”, “estimates”, “targets”, “anticipates” and
similar expressions are used to identify these forward-looking
statements. Such forward-looking statements or forward-looking
information include statements or information regarding estimates of
silver production for the first quarter of 2019 on a consolidated basis
and at each of the Greens Creek, Lucky Friday and San Sebastian mines,
and first quarter of 2019 gold production at Casa Berardi and Nevada
operations, as well as year-end cash position. The material factors or
assumptions used to develop such forward-looking statements or
forward-looking information include that 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, to which the Company’s operations are subject.

Forward-looking statements involve a number of risks and uncertainties
that could cause actual results to differ materially from those
projected, anticipated, expected or implied. These risks and
uncertainties include, but are not limited to, metals price volatility,
volatility of metals production and costs, litigation, regulatory and
environmental risks, operating risks, project development risks,
political risks, labor issues, ability to raise financing and
exploration risks and results. Refer to the Company’s Form 10K and 10-Q
reports 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.


Mike Westerlund
Vice President – Investor Relations
Investor Relations
Email: hmc-info@hecla-mining.com

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