Spokane Journal of Business

Hecla Mining touts production, new investor

Mining company expects to repay debt by year-end

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All five of Hecla Mining Co’s mines are in operation, producing about 3.4 million ounces of silver and almost 60,000 ounces of gold in the second quarter, the Coeur d’Alene-based mining concern reported earlier this month. 

Also, a Canadian company is a new investor in Hecla.

Lucky Friday, near Mullan, Idaho, Hecla’s nearest mine to Spokane, is expected to increase production in the latter half of the year, Hecla says in a release.

The company expects the mine will reach full production by year-end. Lucky Friday produced 468,537 ounces of silver in the second quarter. The mine recommenced production earlier this year after a two-year union strike ended.

Hecla reports its cash position is about $76 million. Hecla President and CEO Phillips S. Baker Jr. says the company acted quickly at the beginning of the pandemic to minimize negative impacts to its operations and finances.

“This performance has allowed us to substantially reduce our revolving line of credit, which we expect to be fully repaid by year-end,” Baker says in the release.

The company says it already has reduced its borrowing under a revolving credit facility from $200 million to $50 million.

Hecla has issued more than $36 million in senior unsecured notes to its new investor, Investissement Quebec.

The company says the move enables Hecla to leverage capital and fund expenditures at its Casa Berardi mine.

The Casa Berardi mine, located about 400 miles north of Toronto, produced more than 30,000 ounces of gold in the second quarter. The mine was shut down temporarily by a government mandate due to COVID-19 and reopened in mid-April. 

The notes will be issued in four installments of about $9.2 million on the ninth day of each month through October. The notes have a five-year maturity and an effective annual yield of 5.74%.

Hecla Mining Co. has silver mines in Idaho, Alaska, and Mexico, as well as gold mines in Nevada and Quebec.

Virginia Thomas
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Reporter Virginia Thomas has worked at the Journal since 2017 and covers the health care industry. As a reporter, she loves learning about Spokane's many growing industries. She enjoys traveling with her husband, snuggling with her cats, and cross stitching.

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