Greens Creek owner reports strong quarter

Company reports adjusted net income of $17.2 million

Posted: Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Hecla Mining Co., owner of the Greens Creek mine on Admiralty Island, reported strong first-quarter earnings and operating results.

Highlights for the Coeur d'Alene, Idaho-based company include 2.5 million ounces of silver production, 16,862 ounces of gold production, record quarterly lead production and the second-highest zinc production.

The company reported an adjusted net income of $17.2 million, or 7 cents per share.

Company President and CEO Phillips S. Baker Jr. said strong revenues and lower unit costs drove the results.

"This quarter's performance is further evidence of the strength of Hecla's mines and people," he said. "I am confident that Hecla will continue to be the lowest-cost silver producer and the largest U.S. producer."

Hecla has more than $115 million in cash and no debt. The strong balance sheet and cash flow will help fund exploration and capital programs, Baker said.

During the quarter, Greens Creek produced 1.6 million ounces of silver, about 6 percent higher than production in the first quarter of 2009. Since 2008, mining and milling production at the mine has increased by about 10 percent while operating costs have decreased.

The company spent $1.7 million in the first quarter on underground development and purchases of new mobile equipment at the Greens Creek mine.

During the first quarter, Hecla realized $16.92 per ounce of silver, $1,107 per ounce of gold, $0.96 per pound for zinc and $0.93 per pound for lead.

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