Mining News: News Nuggets: Greens Creek tops 9M oz silver
Hecla Mining Co. Jan. 10 reported that its Greens Creek Mine in Southeast Alaska produced 9.25 million ounces of silver in 2016, the highest production since the Idaho-based miner bought full ownership of the operation in 2008. This strong performance helped push Hecla’s total silver production to a record 17.2 million oz, 48 percent higher than 2015. In addition to the silver, Greens Creek produced 53,912 oz of gold, along with healthy quantities of zinc and lead. For the fourth quarter, 2.2 million oz of silver and 14,415 oz of gold were produced. In addition to the 7.2 million oz of silver, Hecla’s four operations – Greens Creek, Lucky Friday in Idaho, Casa Berardi in Ontario and San Sebastian in Mexico – produced 233,929 oz of gold, 68,516 tons of zinc and 42,471 tons of lead in 2016. When calculating the value of the gold, zinc and lead, this comes to 46.1 silver-equivalent oz, a 23 percent increase over 2015. “The 17.2 million ounces of silver produced and the 46 million silver-equivalent ounces produced mark the third consecutive year we have broken our 125-year production record, a result of our strategy of investing in organic growth,” said Hecla President and CEO Phillips Baker, Jr. “Through the down cycle we continued to build our production capacity with the start-up of San Sebastian, the development of the pit at Casa Berardi and the construction of the #4 Shaft at Lucky Friday. The performance of these investments plus the ongoing strong performance of Greens Creek allowed Hecla to generate substantial cash flows this year and we expect well into the future.” Hecla ended 2016 with roughly US$198 million in cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments, an increase of about US$43 million for the year.
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