Hecla: 2018 Silver Output Falls, Gold Production Hits Record High
The company lists fourth-quarter silver output of 2.7 million ounces, down 9% from 3 million in the same period a year ago. Production for all of 2018 was 10.4 million ounces, down 17% from 12.5 million.
Meanwhile, fourth-quarter gold output rose 16% to 70,988 ounces from 60,964, while full-year production climbed 13% to a company record of 262,103 ounces from 232,685.
As of Hecla’s third-quarter earnings report, the company had projected 2018 silver output of between 9.7 million and 10.3 million ounces. Gold production had been forecast at 262,000 to 275,000 ounces.
Hecla reported 2018 lead production of 20,091 tons and zinc output of 56,023 tons.
Full-year silver-equivalent production was listed at 43.6 million ounces, while gold-equivalent output was put at 540,174 ounces.
The biggest declines in the full-year silver output were at San Sebastian, where output fell 37%, and the Lucky Friday Mine, where output was 80% lower than in 2017 as a strike continues.
“The economic engine and two largest mines of the company, Greens Creek and Casa Berardi, continue to perform strongly and generate significant cash flow,” said Phillips S. Baker, Jr., president and chief executive officer. “Their performance is a direct result of our investments, which have enabled record-setting throughput.
“San Sebastian’s lower production is as planned, and the mining of the sulfide bulk sample has begun. We continue to focus on increasing the development rate in Nevada rather than production, with the goal of setting Fire Creek up for more consistent and higher production in the future.”