Juneau, Alaska (KINY) The company reported silver production of 12.5 million ounces, the second highest behind the record achieved in 2016, and gold production of 232,685 ounces, the third highest in Company history.
The company also produced 22,734 tons of lead, 55,109 tons of zinc, and produced cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments of approximately $219 million, an increase of $20 million over December 31, 2016. Hecla President and CEO, Phillips S. Baker, Jr. said it was a strong performance, “Our mines finished the year strongly, with Greens Creek exceeding our estimates again this year and Casa Berardi and San Sebastian performing at the upper end of our estimates, generating the second highest annual silver production and third highest gold production in our 126-year history. Their performance is a result of the focus on increasing throughput, with Greens Creek and Casa Berardi both achieving records. Although annual silver production has declined from 2016 as a result of the strike at the Lucky Friday, two things about 2017 stand out. First, silver production was better than any other year in our history except last year. Second, our cash position increased $20 million, reflecting what a good year it was for Hecla. We are well-positioned for 2018.”
At the Greens Creek mine in 2017, 8.4 million ounces of silver and 50,855 ounces of gold were produced. For the fourth quarter, 2.1 million ounces of silver and 11,565 ounces of gold were produced. Lower silver and gold production, when compared to 2016, was due to the expected lower grades but the silver production still exceeded our estimates. The mill operated at an average of 2,300 tons per day (tpd) in 2017, a record which is about 15% greater than the throughput when we became the operator in 2008.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.