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Hecla 3Q Silver Output Declines But Meets Expectations

Kitco News

(Kitco News) - Hecla Mining Co. (NYSE: HL) met its expectations for third-quarter output of 2.5 million silver ounces and 72,995 gold ounces, the company said Tuesday.

The preliminary consolidated silver output was a 24% decline from the same period of 2017, with output at the Greens Creek Mine falling by 467,899 ounces, which the company blamed on lower ore grades and milled tonnage as a result of mine sequencing. Company-wide gold production rose by 16%, getting a boost from new operations in Nevada.

July-September silver-equivalent production came in at 10.9 million ounces, while gold-equivalent production was 135,096 ounces. The company also mined 4,239 tons of lead and 12,795 tons of zinc.

“Our gold and silver production met our expectations, with gold production increasing due to the addition of two months of production from the Nevada operations and silver production declining due to lower expected grades at Greens Creek,” said Phillips S. Baker, Jr., president and chief executive officer. “We are on track to meet annual production estimates at all operations.”

“At our new Nevada assets, we are focusing on completing enough underground development at Fire Creek so by about mid-2019 we should have consistent production with an expected 50% higher throughput.”

The company reported 13,789 ounces of gold and 84,145 ounces of silver from Nevada operations since the acquisition on July 20.

A strike continues to mean limited output at the company’s Lucky Friday Mine in Idaho. Salaried workers are undertaking some production, which came to 31,639 ounces of silver.

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