Hecla Announces Q1 2021 Production
Hecla Mining Company (NYSE:HL) today announced its preliminary silver and gold production for the first quarter of 2021.1
- Silver production of 3.5 million ounces, an increase of 7%, due to growing Lucky Friday production.
- Gold production of 52,004, a decrease of 12%, because of reducing less profitable production.
- Zinc and lead production increased 25% and 82%, respectively, due to Lucky Friday production.
- Silver equivalent production of 9.3 million ounces or gold equivalent production of 135,946 ounces.2
- Quarter-end cash position exceeds $135 million.
“Greens Creek, Lucky Friday and Casa Berardi all had strong operating performance which combined with current silver prices enabled us to close the quarter with more than $135 million in cash,” said Hecla’s President and CEO, Phillips S. Baker, Jr. “This is our fourth consecutive quarter of increasing cash balances, all attributable to free cash flow generation.”
In the first quarter, 2.6 million ounces of silver and 13,266 ounces of gold were produced compared to 2.8 million ounces of silver and 12,273 ounces of gold in the prior year period. The decrease in silver production compared to the first quarter of 2020 was primarily due to lower grade, with the increase in gold production resulting from higher grade, as planned. The mill operated at an average of 2,156 tons per day (tpd).
At the Casa Berardi Mine, 36,190 ounces of gold were produced compared to 26,752 ounces in the prior year period. This represents an increase of 9,438 ounces over the first quarter of 2020 due to higher tonnage, grades and recoveries. The mill operated at an average of 4,093 tpd.
At the Lucky Friday Mine, 0.9 million ounces of silver were produced in the first quarter. Lucky Friday achieved full production in the fourth quarter of 2020 with estimated annual production in excess of 3 million ounces of silver in 2021. The mill operated at an average of 901 tpd.
At the Nevada operations, 2,548 ounces of gold were produced from 16,459 tons of a stockpiled bulk sample of refractory material processed at a third-party facility. Fire Creek is expected to be placed on care and maintenance in the second quarter of 2021.
- See cautionary statement regarding preliminary statements at the end of this release.
- Silver and gold equivalent calculation based on average actual prices for each metal in the first quarter as follows: $26.29 for Ag, $1,798 for Au, $0.92 for Pb, and $1.25 for Zn.