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Hecla Announces Third Quarter Production

by ahnationtalk on October 13, 202329 Views

October, 12, 2023

On track to achieve updated production guidance

COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho– Hecla Mining Company (NYSE:HL) today announced its preliminary silver and gold production for the third quarter and first nine months of 2023.

HIGHLIGHTS

Year to Date 2023 compared to YTD 2022

  • Silver production increased 8%
  • Gold production decreased by 14%
  • Zinc and lead production unchanged
  • Keno Hill produced 0.9 million ounces of silver; Q3 throughput of 268 tons per day (tpd)

“Silver production continues to grow with almost a million ounces more this year compared to the first three quarters last year,” said Phillips S. Baker, Jr., Hecla’s President and CEO. “Despite less production at the Lucky Friday, Greens Creek’s consistent performance and the ramp-up of Keno Hill should allow us to be within our 2023 guidance of 14.5 to 15.5 million ounces.”

Baker continued, “Casa Berardi performed as expected during the third quarter as the transition to full open pit mining continues with completion expected in mid-2024. At Lucky Friday, we continue executing the plans to bring the mine back into production with no significant impact expected on 2024 production. With our silver production expected to increase to about 20 million ounces by 2025, Hecla remains the world’s fastest-growing established silver producer, the largest in the U.S., and remains on track to become Canada’s largest next year.”

OPERATIONS

Greens Creek

The Greens Creek mine produced 2.3 million ounces of silver and 15,010 ounces of gold in the third quarter. Throughput for the quarter was 2,489 tpd, 3% lower than the prior quarter. Silver production was unchanged, as higher grades offset lower throughput, while gold production decreased by 8% over the prior quarter due to lower grades. Throughput averaged 2,544 tpd for the first nine months of the year, and the mine remains on track to achieve 2,600 tpd in the fourth quarter of 2023.

Lucky Friday

The Lucky Friday mine produced 475 thousand ounces of silver in the third quarter and 3 million ounces during the year’s first seven months. Mill throughput in July 2023 was 1,113 tpd, 8% higher than the prior quarter’s average. The decrease of 63% in silver production over the prior quarter is attributable to the previously reported fire in the secondary egress (#2 Shaft) in August 2023 and the subsequent suspension of production. The Company is bringing the mine back into production by developing a new secondary egress consisting of a ramp of 1,600 feet, a 290-foot-long manway raise, and an 850-foot ventilation raise to bypass the damaged portion of the #2 shaft. 2023 production is suspended for the remainder of the year; however, 2024 production is not expected to be materially impacted.

Keno Hill

The Keno Hill mine continued ramping up to full production in the third quarter, producing more than 700 thousand ounces of silver. Throughput in the quarter averaged 268 tpd with silver grades of 33 ounces per ton. Tonnage mined was constrained while underground infrastructure and ore headings were being developed. Most of the planned infrastructure is complete, and twelve ore headings should be in place by the end of October. Mill tonnage was limited due to the availability of a temporary crusher unit. The permanent crusher is expected to be commissioned by early November, which should increase crusher availability and throughput. Stockpiled ore at the end of the quarter was approximately 2,100 tons with silver grades of 37 opt. The mill remains on track to ramp up to 440 tpd by the end of the year.

Casa Berardi

The Casa Berardi mine produced 24,259 ounces of gold in the third quarter, an increase of 28% compared to the prior quarter. The increase is due to the prior quarter being negatively impacted by wildfire-related road closures in June. The mill operated at an average of 3,735 tpd during the third quarter compared to 4,600 tpd during the first two months of the prior quarter. The lower throughput in the third quarter is primarily due to a planned shutdown in August, during which the cyclones in the grinding circuit were replaced with better performing units. Fine-tuning of the circuit also impacted throughput in the latter half of the quarter.

PRODUCTION SUMMARY (1)

Three Months Ended

Nine Months Ended

September 30,

June 30,

September 30,

September 30,

2023

2023

2023

2022

Production

Increase/
(Decrease)

Increase/
(Decrease)

Silver (oz)

3,533,704

3,832,560

(8)%

11,407,232

10,519,553

8 %

Gold (oz)

39,269

35,251

11 %

114,091

132,108

(14)%

Lead (tons)

8,276

13,071

(37)%

34,583

35,794

(3)%

Zinc (tons)

14,980

16,939

(12)%

47,715

47,571

0 %

Greens Creek – Silver (oz)

2,343,192

2,355,674

(1)%

7,471,725

7,308,660

2 %

Greens Creek – Gold (oz)

15,010

16,351

(8)%

46,245

35,227

31 %

Lucky Friday – Silver (oz)

475,414

1,286,666

(63)%

3,024,545

3,188,565

(5)%

Keno Hill – Silver (oz)

710,012

184,264

285 %

894,276

NA

Casa Berardi – Gold (oz)

24,259

18,901

28 %

67,846

96,881

(30)%

(1) See the cautionary statement regarding preliminary statements at the end of this release.

Anvita M. Patil
Vice President – Investor Relations and Treasurer

Cheryl Turner
Communications Coordinator

800-HECLA91 (800-432-5291)
Investor Relations
Email: hmc-info@hecla.com
Website: www.hecla.com

NT4

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