Rising silver output and prices lift Hecla results
Mining News Pro - Hecla Mining managed to achieve a second-highest quarterly production of silver, since 2016, in the three months ended June 30, despite being amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

More output combined with higher silver prices enabled the precious metals miner to generate 25% more revenue than the prior comparable three months, as well as generate $27-million of free cash flow.

Hecla produced 3.4-million ounces of silver and 59 982 oz of gold in the quarter under review. The company produces a third of all the silver mined in the US.

The company expects its silver output to grow once the Lucky Friday mine, in Idaho, is being ramped up.

CEO Phillips Baker explained on Thursday that, combined, the Greens Creek, Casa Berardi and Nevada operations generated $53.3-million more gross profit in the quarter under review than a year earlier.

The company reported an adjusted net income of $7.3-million, or $0.01 apiece. Its net loss was $14.2-million, or $0.03 apiece, compared with a net loss of $46-million, or $0.10 apiece, for the same period in 2019.

Baker said cash provided by operating activities of $37.5-million in the second quarter was $48.8-million higher than the $11.3-million of cash used by operating activities in the second quarter of 2019, mostly owing to a $54.3-million increase in gross profit, partly offset by the net impact of working capital changes.

The average realised silver price in the second quarter was $18.44/oz, which was 23% higher than the $15.01/oz silver price recorded in the prior comparable quarter.

The average realised gold price increased by 31% year-on-year, to $1 736/oz in the quarter under review, while the average realised prices for lead and zinc decreased by 7% and 24% year-on-year, respectively.

Hecla repaid $160-million of its debt in the quarter under review, leaving $50-million outstanding, which should be fully repaid by the end of the year.

The board elected to declare a quarterly cash dividend of $0.0025 a share of common stock.

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