Hecla Reports Drilling Successes at Casa Berardi, San Sebastian, Greens Creek and Nevada

COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Hecla Mining Company (NYSE:HL)
today provided an update on its drilling programs during the first


There were up to 20 drills operating at 5 mines, all in North America.

Casa Berardi:

  • High-grade extensions defined two zones in the upper East and West
    Mines for potential new underground mining areas.
  • The high-grade 113 Zone may link or intersect the western limit of the
    118 Zone to define a significant resource area.

San Sebastian:

  • Potential increase of oxide mine life through upgraded resource in the
    Middle Vein.
  • Near-surface oxide mineralization defined at the new El Toro (South)
    over 5,000 feet along strike and from surface to 450 feet of depth.

Greens Creek:

  • Expanding high-grade, near-surface resources at the East Ore and Upper
    Plate zones and upgraded resources in the NWW and Southwest zones in
    the central part of the mine.
  • Drilling in the southern part of the mine on the 200 South Zone has
    upgraded resources and added to mineralized trends in that area.


  • Some high-grade intersections at Fire Creek along trend of primary
    veins and new vein extensions identified.
  • Underground drilling at Hollister has confirmed and expanded
    mineralization in the West Gloria and identified new mineralization to
    the north.

“We have been successful in discovering high-grade mineralization at
Casa Berardi, San Sebastian, Greens Creek and in Nevada,” said Mr.
Phillips S. Baker, Jr., President and CEO. “Our focus at Casa Berardi is
increasing underground reserves and as expected, we are seeing the
underground resource continuing as the exploration moves east. In
Mexico, the discovery of additional oxide resources at San Sebastian
could extend the mine life. At Greens Creek we could see reserve
increases again this year as the resources are upgraded. In Nevada, one
of our main reasons for the acquisition is being proved with many
high-grade intercepts.”


Exploration (including corporate development) expenses were $4.4 million
for the first quarter, a $3.0 million decrease over the first quarter of
2018. Exploration activities remained focused at Nevada Operations and
at San Sebastian, Casa Berardi and Greens Creek.

Casa Berardi – Quebec

During the first quarter, up to six underground drills were used to
refine stope designs, expand reserves and resources in the 113, 118,
123, 124, 128, 139, 152 and 160 zones and confirm further potential at
depth and to the east and west (Figure 1). An aggressive underground
drilling program has begun with the goal of upgrading and expanding
resources in several promising areas and potentially extending the
underground mine production. Up to three drills on surface completed
in-fill and exploration drilling at the West Mine Crown Pillar (WMCP),
the 128 Zone and at depth of the Principal Pit and the deeper potential
below the 160 Pit (Figure 2). This drilling is concentrated on
high-grade extensions below currently defined pits that could
potentially be mined from underground or could expand the WMCP pit.

The 113 Zone has been a prolific historic mining center and
recent underground development has provided a platform to evaluate the
eastern-plunge of these high-grade lenses from the 1010-level within the
West Mine. Initial drilling has been encouraging with intersections
containing multiple structures with veins and strong alteration. There
is potential at depth for the 113 Zone to intersect or link with the 118
Zone to the east.

High in the mine, drilling of the 118 and 124 zones from the 430-level
continue to show the potential to extend and increase the grade in the
Principal area. Recent drill intersections of the 118 Zone at
1200 feet from surface include 0.19 oz/ton gold over 15.3 feet and 0.53
oz/ton over 3.6 feet. At depth, drilling of the western extension of the 118
from the 990-level exploration drift confirmed the continuity
of multiple mineralized lenses to the west and at depth outside the
current resource boundary. Recent intersections including 0.20 oz/ton
gold over 9.8 feet suggest an extension of the resources of over 350
feet below the 1200-level.

Drilling of stacked, high-grade lenses of the 123 Zone is
defining a connection between them over 1,900 feet of strike length and
over 3,600 feet down-dip below the 1070-level (Figure 3). In the upper
part of the 123 Zone, step-out drilling from the 750-level to the west
shows the continuity of high-grade mineralization down-plunge for 400
feet and remains open to the west. Drilling has defined the east
extension of the 124 Zone from the 430-level that is down-plunge
of the Principal pit mineralization. Recent drill intersections below
the 290-level include 0.19 oz/ton gold over 6.6 feet and continues to
show the down-dip potential of the 124 lenses to the east and at depth.

Drilling below the proposed Principal Pit on the 128 Zone has
defined a series of high-grade, steeply-plunging lenses that have been
defined vertically for over 600 feet and extend from surface to below
the 290-level (Figure 3). Drill intersections, including 0.24 oz/ton
gold over 5.2 feet and 1.25 oz/ton gold over 1.6 feet, have extended the
resource 300 feet and recent step-out drilling suggests the high-grade
mineralization is open at depth and to the east. Further east, drilling
of the 139 Zone south of the Casa Berardi Fault is showing
mineralization is almost continuous between the West and East mines.

Exploration drilling of the 152 Zone at the west extent of the East
is evaluating the underground potential of the area between the
148 Zone and depth extensions of the 160 Zone. Intersections of 0.28
oz/ton gold over 2.8 feet and 0.17 oz/ton gold over 9.8 feet suggest the
mineralization could link the zones together and provide additional
deeper exploration potential. Underground drilling from the ramp at the
455-level, is currently targeting the down plunge of these results.
Definition drilling continues at the 300-level of the East Mine
to refine the depth extensions of the 160 Zone below the pit
shells. Drilling has defined multiple lenses that include discrete
quartz veins and massive sulfide styles of mineralization that contain
good gold grades. This mineralization is steeply plunging to the west
and is open to depth.

Drilling of the WMCP to evaluate the open-pit potential to the
west of the West Shaft has upgraded the inferred resource to reserves
that are part of a newly-defined open pit reserve announced with the
year-end reserve update. The drill recent results also show that the
near-surface, mineralized structures extends beyond the western extent
of the WMCP pit and could result in an expansion of the pit.

In the second quarter of 2019, underground drilling in the West Mine is
planned to evaluate the lower extensions of the 113 and 118 zones.
Surface and underground drilling is expected to expand and refine the
124-128 zones closer to surface. In the East Mine drilling of the 148,
152 and 160 zones should refine and expand resources that have
underground mining potential. These targets reflect the numerous
opportunities (Figure 4) to extend mineralization defined in the pits,
or near surface, to depth and potential underground mining.

More complete drill assay highlights from Casa Berardi can be found in
Table A at the end of the release and a presentation showing drill
intersection locations is available by copying and pasting the following
URL into your Internet browser: http://ir.hecla-mining.com//interactive/newlookandfeel/4130678/Hecla_Q1-2019_ExplorationUpdate.pdf.

San Sebastian – Mexico

During the quarter, two core drill rigs and one reverse circulation (RC)
drill operated at San Sebastian on surface. In addition, one underground
drill rig completed in-fill drilling in the central and upper portions
of the oxide zone along the Middle Vein. Surface exploration drilling
was directed toward shallower oxide mineralization along the recently
discovered El Toro (South) Vein and West Francine Vein
(Figure 5). At the Middle Vein, in-fill drilling within the oxide
(100, 101 and 104) zones intercepted vein intervals with similar grade
and width to the previous exploration drilling results and will provide
important data to guide stope design. Strong drill results include 206.5
oz/ton silver and 0.79 oz/ton gold over 6.1 feet and 49.8 oz/ton silver
and 0.25 oz/ton gold over 6.7 feet. This drilling has upgraded resources
and could add oxide mine life at San Sebastian.

The El Toro (South) Vein is located approximately halfway between
the Andrea Vein resource area to the southeast and the Esperanza Vein to
the northwest (Figure 5). Based on its location and orientation, this
vein may represent the link between these two known veins with a total
prospective strike length of over eight miles. Near-surface
mineralization has been defined by core drilling for over 5,000 feet
along strike and from surface to 450 feet of depth and includes
intersections of 0.16 oz/ton gold and 24.1 oz/ton silver over 5.8 feet
and 0.35 oz/ton gold and 21.4 oz/ton silver over 4.2 feet (Figure 6).
Recent drill intercepts have identified veins that are up to 25 feet
wide containing bands of sulfide mineralization. To the south, the El
Toro vein has been fault-offset to the east and remains strong and open
to the south. A new vein is located about 125 feet in hanging wall of
the El Toro Vein and recent intersections include 0.26 oz/ton gold and
18.0 oz/ton silver over 9.5 feet. Recently one core rig has moved from
the West Francine Vein to El Toro Vein to accelerate the drilling in
this area.

At the West Francine Vein, located about 1,000 feet west of past
drilling on the Francine Vein, recent drilling continues to intersect
narrow, high-grade veins that has defined mineralization about 450 feet
along strike. A recent drill hole at the eastern end returned narrow,
high-grade intervals including 0.05 oz/ton gold and 70 oz/ton silver
over 1.65 feet. Mineralization in this area is open laterally and at
depth and follow-up drilling in this area is programmed later in the
year. Drilling will continue during the second quarter to evaluate
near-surface oxide mineralization at the El Toro (South) Vein area. An
RC drilling program recently began to test geochemistry targets around
the El Toro Vein discovery and along the Esperanza to Andrea Vein
Corridor (Figure 7).

Separately, a bulk sample is proceeding on the polymetallic
mineralization along the Francine Vein. The material from the bulk
sample will be used for metallurgical studies and a viability test of
the nearby Excellon Mill, where the processing of sulfide ores from San
Sebastian is planned.

More complete drill assay highlights from San Sebastian can be found in
Table A at the end of this release and a presentation showing drill
intersection locations is available by copying and pasting the following
URL address into your Internet browser: http://ir.hecla-mining.com//interactive/newlookandfeel/4130678/Hecla_Q1-2019_ExplorationUpdate.pdf.

Greens Creek – Alaska

At Greens Creek, drilling in the first quarter and strong assay results
from previous drilling have upgraded and expanded the 200 South, East
Ore, NWW, Upper Plate, 9A, and Southwest zone resources (Figure 8). In
the East Ore Zone, intersections from drilling in the middle and
the north end of the resource confirmed mineralization. Strong assay
results included 20.52 oz/ton silver, 0.05 oz/ton gold, 4.20% zinc and
1.19% lead over 21.9 feet and 64.04 oz/ton silver, 0.27 oz/ton gold,
6.46% zinc and 2.36% lead over 7.6 feet (Figure 9). Drilling of targeted
gaps between modeled ore zones intersected mineralization that compares
well in thickness and location to existing trends. Mineralization is
still open higher up in the mine. Drilling is planned to continue
upgrading this resource throughout 2019.

Drilling of the 200 South Zone confirmed three flat-lying,
high-grade lenses that are folded to the west and has enabled portions
of bench mineralization below historic mining to be upgraded to an
indicated resource category and potentially incorporated into the Life
of Mine plan. Recent drilling included 6.87 oz/ton silver, 0.25 oz/ton
gold, 15.70% zinc, 5.39% lead over 25.9 feet and 27.66 oz/ton silver,
0.42 oz/ton gold, 4.25% zinc, and 2.31% lead over 14.4 feet.

Near the mine portal elevation, drilling of the Upper Plate Zone
to the northwest has defined at least two flat-lying zones that are
folded to the east. Recent drill results include 42.15 oz/ton silver,
0.02 oz/ton gold, 10.84% zinc and 4.86% lead over 16.5 feet along the
upper ore band and 93.59 oz/ton silver, 0.39 oz/ton gold, 4.95% zinc and
2.38% lead over 5.5 feet in the lower band. Definition drilling results
indicate the upper and mineralization horizon thickens toward the
Southwest D Fault from the east and the lower horizon extends up to 150
feet further than modeled also towards the Southwest D Fault.

Drilling continued at the southern end and lower portion of the NWW
filling in a gap between the two ore zones. Results from
recent drilling include 29.90 oz/ton silver, 0.16 oz/ton gold, 4.89%
zinc and 2.74% lead over 11.4 feet and 16.87 oz/ton silver, 0.11 oz/ton
gold,16.07% zinc and 9.41% lead over 7.2 feet. The drilling shows the
mineralization is generally contained within argillites with a precious
metal-rich zone identified west of the current resource and a base
metal-rich zone (16-20% zinc) extending beyond the current resource.
Drilling of the NWW Zone will continue through the first half of
2019. Drilling north of the Southwest Zone targeted an
area between the Southwest and NWW zones. Recent drill results include
77.18 oz/ton silver, 0.57 oz/ton gold, 8.05% zinc and 3.94% lead over
7.5 feet and 94.33 oz/ton silver, 0.40 oz/ton gold, 12.22% zinc and
4.83% lead over 7.0 feet suggest possible continuity of high-grade
mineralization between the current resources.

Definition drilling in 2019 will focus on the East Ore, Northwest West,
and 9A zones. Exploration drilling in 2019 will target the southern
extension of the 200 South Zone and the Deep Southwest. Definition
drilling in 200 South Zone is planned to continue to mid-2019 and
drilling of the Upper Plate has stopped but is expected to resume in the
fourth quarter.

More complete drill assay highlights from Greens Creek can be found in
Table A at the end of this release and a presentation showing drill
intersection locations is available by copying and pasting the following
URL address into your Internet browser: http://ir.hecla-mining.com//interactive/newlookandfeel/4130678/Hecla_Q1-2019_ExplorationUpdate.pdf.


Fire Creek

The 2019 underground drill program at Fire Creek is designed to upgrade
and expand resources at Spirals 2, 3, 4 and 9 and the Titan and North
zones (Figure 10). There were up to four drill rigs operating
underground at Fire Creek in the first quarter with definition drilling
focusing the southern up-dip of Spiral 2 of the Vein 39 and Joyce
mineralization in advance of sill development, on upper portions of Spiral 3
along the Honey Runner, Karen, Hui Wu and Joyce structures, and the
lower and upper portions of Spiral 4. The focus of the drilling
was to upgrade resources as underground exploration drilling is
anticipated for later in the year.

The Spiral 2 drilling targeted the up-dip, southern extents of
Vein 39 and Joyce veins. Drilling on Vein 39 encountered strong
alteration in the structures but overall weak assays. The Joyce program
identified continuous veins with moderate grades, but the best results
occurred along Vein 40 which is a ladder vein between Vein 39 and Joyce.
Drill intersections of Vein 40 include 0.80 oz/ton gold over 7.5 feet
and 2.24 oz/ton gold over 1.1 feet.

Drilling targeting up-dip veins in the Spiral 3 area intersected
mineralization that is characterized by large, low-grade zones that
contain narrow, high-grade structures with some continuity. For example,
drilling along the Honeyrunner structure returned grades of 0.17 oz/ton
gold over 30.7 feet that contained an interval of 0.40 oz/ton gold over
2.0 feet (Figure 11). Other intersections in Spiral 3 within strongly
argillized basalts include 0.97 oz/ton gold over 5.0 feet (Vonnie Vein)
and 0.27 oz/ton gold over 11.9 feet (Karen Vein). Drilling in the vein
dominated zone was successful in upgrading the model in the 5350 timber
raise area. Drilling from Haulage 3, in combination with mapping and
channel sampling in the Spiral 4 development, indicate that
mineralization of the Joyce, Vonnie and Vein 06 is along the margins of
multiple north-striking, steeply-dipping dikes. Drilling to date
indicates that this mineralization is dominated by a strong clay
(argillite) alteration with semi-continuous, high-grade calcite/quartz
veining in structural zones.

Drilling of the Joyce structural system continues beyond the modeled
resource including high-grade drill intercepts such as 1.28 oz/ton gold
over 2.2 feet and 1.11 oz/ton gold over 1.7 feet (Figure 12). Drilling
on the Vonnie Vein had intersections including of 0.18 oz/ton gold over
11.1 feet and 0.29 oz/ton gold over 5.4 feet. Other veins not included
in the life of mine intercepted 0.97 oz/ton gold over 0.7 feet and 0.76
oz/ton gold over 1.2 feet on Vein 3 and 0.26 oz/ton gold over 13.6 feet
on Vein 64. Underground drill programs are proposed to upgrade resources
and evaluate new targets throughout the mine (Figure 13).

Surface permits are being finalized to begin drilling on the Zeus,
Kronos, Titan, Far View and Guard Shack targets to extend mineralization
of known resources near the mine.


Up to two rigs were active in the West Gloria area during the
first quarter with mine development and preparations proceeding to
evaluate East Clementine and Hatter Graben (Figure 14). At West Gloria
the drilling program from the end of the 5265-level targeted down-dip
extensions of high-grade intersections of the Gloria Veins to the west
and north (Figure 15). This drilling intersected parallel structures to
the north of the Gloria Vein and confirmed that mineralization is
stepping to the northwest as suggested by mapping of vent
breccia/sinters on surface. Drilling below the level defined high-grade
veins about 100 feet below high-grade intersections (0.32 oz/ton gold,
6.1 oz/ton silver over 11.6 feet) drilled late in 2018. In-fill and
step-out drilling is planned to determine the continuity and extent of
these higher-grade veins. Further east on the 5265-level drilling
intersected mineralization (0.77 oz/ton gold and 10.9 oz/ton silver over
3.3 feet) about 60 feet above current workings. Additional drilling is
planned in what is interpreted as the upward extension of an east
plunging mineralized zone that is still open up-dip and to the west.

A long exploration drillhole to the north targeted interpreted
structures north of the Gloria veins. Three zones of quartz-calcite
veins and multiple intervals of crackle breccia and stockworks were
intersected including an intersection of 0.38 oz/ton gold and 20.16
oz/ton silver over 2.5 feet. Near the end of the of the hole adularia
alteration was observed which suggests proximity to epithermal
mineralization. A second down-hole is planned to test below these

Drilling is in progress on a 1,500-foot geotechnical hole in the Hatter
Graben decline (Figure 16). The drill rig is then expected to drill
exploration holes targeting the 181, 233, 234 and 243 veins. Definition
drilling to upgrade resources in the West Gloria, 5190 Pump Chamber,
East Clementine and 5278 areas has begun. Surface permits are being
finalized to begin drilling to extend the Hatter Graben resource
beginning in the second quarter.

More complete drill assay highlights from Nevada (Fire Creek and
Hollister) can be found in Table A at the end of this release and a
presentation showing drill intersection locations is available by
copying and pasting the following URL address into your Internet
browser: http://ir.hecla-mining.com//interactive/newlookandfeel/4130678/Hecla_Q1-2019_ExplorationUpdate.pdf.


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 operating
mines in Quebec, Canada and Nevada. The Company also has exploration and
pre-development properties in eight world-class silver and gold mining
districts in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.

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. 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 risk 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.

Cautionary Statements to Investors on Reserves
and Resources

Reporting requirements in the United States for disclosure of mineral
properties are governed by the SEC and included in the SEC’s Securities
Act Industry Guide 7, entitled “Description of Property by Issuers
Engaged or to be Engaged in Significant Mining Operations” (Guide 7).
Although the SEC has recently issued new rules rescinding Guide 7, the
new rules are not binding until January 1, 2021, and at this time the
Company still reports in accordance with Guide 7. However, the Company
is also a “reporting issuer” under Canadian securities laws, which
require estimates of mineral resources and reserves to be prepared in
accordance with Canadian National Instrument 43-101 (NI 43-101). NI
43-101 requires all disclosure of estimates of potential mineral
resources and reserves to be disclosed in accordance with its
requirements. Such Canadian information is included herein to satisfy
the Company’s “public disclosure” obligations under Regulation FD of the
SEC and to provide U.S. holders with ready access to information
publicly available in Canada.

Reporting requirements in the United States for disclosure of mineral
properties under Guide 7 and the requirements in Canada under NI 43-101
standards are substantially different. This document contains a summary
of certain estimates of the Company, not only of proven and probable
reserves within the meaning of Guide 7, but also of mineral resource and
mineral reserve estimates estimated in accordance with the definitional
standards of the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum
referred to in NI 43-101.


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

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