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'It is the driving story' - Hecla Mining's CEO on solar power and silver demand

Kitco News

(Kitco News) - Silver demand could quadruple due to solar demand, noted Phillips S. Baker Jr., CEO of Hecla Mining.

Last week Baker spoke to Kitco. In August Hecla Mining gave the keynote at the Stockpulse Silver Symposium held in Spokane, Washington.

Hecla Mining (NYSE:HL) is the largest silver producer in the United States. The company has operating mines in Alaska, Idaho, Quebec and now the Yukon.

In July Hecla announced it was acquiring Alexco Resources and it's Yukon-based Keno Hill operation.

"Alexco is an asset that we've been looking at since 2007. It will allow us to produce maybe five million ounces of silver, which will make us the largest silver producer in Canada, as well as being the largest producer in the United States," said Baker.

Baker highlighted the importance of solar demand for silver, calling it the "driving story" for the metal.

"With the silver panels that are being constructed, the demand for silver should go from about 120 million ounces or 12 percent of total worldwide demand to maybe as much as 500 million ounces [by 2050]."

Hecla released 2022 guidance earlier this year. Silver is at 12.9 Moz to 13.5 Moz, gold from 165 Koz to 175 Koz, silver equivalent ranging from 39.3 Moz to 40.7 Moz and gold equivalent in the range of 509 Koz to 527 Koz.

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