Hecla mines simpler, lower-grade ore resulting from staffing challenges North of 60 Mining Information – October 15, 2021
Hecla Mining Firm Oct. 12 reported that its Greens Creek Mine produced 1.8 million ounces of silver and 9,735 oz of gold throughout the third quarter of 2021, easing off the 10-million-oz-per-year tempo set on the Southeast Alaska operation throughout the first half of 2021.
Greens Creek’s third-quarter silver output is down about 30% from the two.6 million oz produced throughout the identical interval final 12 months. The quarterly gold manufacturing was down by 24% from the 12,833 oz produced throughout the third quarter of 2020.
Hecla says this drop-off in treasured metals manufacturing was primarily resulting from mining decrease grades in additional simply accessible areas. Deeper, higher-grade materials at Greens Creek is slated for future mining.
The Greens Creek mill operated at a mean of two,295 tons per day throughout the third quarter of this 12 months, down solely about 2% from the two,340 tpd throughout the third quarter of 2020.
“Greens Creek had a very good quarter however was down in comparison with an distinctive 2020 third quarter. The mine skilled decrease grades as a result of mine sequence, which was pushed by manpower challenges which might be being addressed by schedule adjustments and different means,” mentioned Hecla Mining President and CEO Phillips Baker, Jr.
Hecla’s 4 mines – Greens Creek, Fortunate Friday in Idaho, Casa Berardi in Quebec, and Nevada Operations – produced 2.7 million oz of silver and 42,206 oz of gold throughout the third quarter of this 12 months.
With elevated output from the Fortunate Friday Mine in Idaho offsetting a few of Greens Creek’s deficits, Hecla’s companywide silver manufacturing dropped roughly 24% from the three.5 oz produced throughout the identical interval final 12 months, whereas gold manufacturing elevated by 3% resulting from a powerful quarter on the firm’s Casa Berardi mine in Quebec.
The corporate mentioned the elevated silver output is because of growing manufacturing on the restarted Fortunate Friday Mine and the drop in gold output is because of discount in much less worthwhile manufacturing of the dear metallic.
“Fortunate Friday and Casa Berardi each delivered sturdy operational quarters, with Casa Berardi growing gold manufacturing by 13% and Fortunate Friday growing silver manufacturing by 31% over final 12 months,” mentioned Baker.
Hecla studies that it ended the third quarter with greater than $190 million in money, up about $9 million from the second quarter, and almost double the $97 million of money and cash-equivalents on the finish of the identical interval of 2020.
“Hecla is america’ largest silver miner producing 40% of all of the silver mined within the U.S. With this quarter’s efficiency, we’re not solely the most important but in addition show the power of our operations on this decrease silver value atmosphere with roughly $10 million added to our money stability, regardless of the semi-annual curiosity fee made this quarter and a few one-time money transactions,” Baker mentioned. “Because the starting of 2019, we have added over $160 million of money to our stability sheet whereas returning roughly $30 million to frequent shareholders within the type of dividend funds, along with growing our funding in operations and exploration.”