Business Digest

Posted: Thursday, February 22, 2007

Hecla Mining scores highest-ever profits

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SPOKANE, Wash. - Hecla Mining Co., a minority owner of Greens Creek Mine, has recorded the highest annual sales and profits in its 116-year history.

Representatives of the company, based in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, said Wednesday it had sales of $217.4 million and profits of $68.6 million, or 57 cents per share, for 2006. The sales figure was 30 percent higher than the second-best year in company history, and profits were 20 percent higher than the second-best year, Hecla said in a news release.

In 2005, the company reported a loss of $25.9 million, or 22 cents per share.

Rebounding prices for gold, silver and other metals were a big reason for the improvement.

Hecla saw its New York Stock Exchange share price jump 83 cents, or 11.4 percent, to $8.11, on Wednesday. That topped the 52-week high of $7.95.

Hecla officials said that in 2006, the company's mines worldwide produced 5.5 million ounces of silver at an average cost of 24 cents per ounce, and 179,276 ounces of gold at an average cost of $345 per ounce.

The average price of gold during 2006 was $604 per ounce, the highest yearly average in history, the company said. Silver sold for $11.57 per ounce, an increase of 58 percent over 2005.

Hecla has operations in Alaska, Idaho, Nevada, Mexico and Venezuela. Its share in Greens Creek, on Admiralty Island, is 29.7 percent. Kennecott Greens Creek Mining Co. owns the rest.

Building industry offers reception

JUNEAU - The Southeast Alaska Building Industry Association is hosting an "After-Hours" reception for its members from 5 to 7 p.m. tonight at the Buoy Deck. Awards for Builder of the Year and Associate of the Year will be announced, among other awards. Hors d'oeuvres and beverages will be served.

For more information or to RSVP, call Executive Director Nelda Stewart at 463-5774 or visit

Business center hosts bookkeeping class

JUNEAU - The Juneau Small Business Development Center is hosting a class, "Keeping the Books for Small Business," on Feb. 23.

Participants will learn about basic accounting methods and systems, keeping books current, filing requirements, record retention and how good bookkeeping records are used by owners and managers to make important business decisions.

The class will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. in the conference room on the third floor of the Juneau Empire building at 3100 Channel Drive. Registration is required in advance by calling 463-3789. The cost is $25, but scholarships are available for low-income participants.

The Center offers free, confidential business counseling for new, aspiring and established business owners.

Sealaska accepting board nominations

JUNEAU - Sealaska Corp. has released a nomination packet for shareholders who are interested in running as an independent candidate for the board of directors. For more information or to share concerns, contact the corporation's secretary, Nicole Hallingstad, at 586-1512. The packet of information, which is available online at, includes detailed information about what candidates need to know about the process.

The deadline to submit the nomination forms is March 26.

• Do you have news to share about your business? Contact Empire reporter Brittany Retherford at

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