COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho – Hecla Mining Company (NYSE:) has announced preliminary production figures for the fourth quarter and full year of 2023, highlighting a marginal increase in silver production and a decline in gold production. The company’s silver output for the year reached 14.3 million ounces, slightly surpassing the 2022 figure of 14.2 million ounces. This increase came despite a temporary halt in operations at the Lucky Friday mine, which ceased production in August 2023 due to a fire.
Gold production, on the other hand, saw a 14% decrease as the Casa Berardi mine began its transition to an open-pit operation. Conversely, the Greens Creek mine reported a 26% increase in gold production.
The Lucky Friday mine has commenced its restart on Monday, with expectations to achieve full production within the first quarter of 2024. The company anticipates receiving insurance payments during this period as well.
At Keno Hill, a total of 1.5 million ounces of silver were produced in 2023, with the Bermingham deposit reaching its highest mined tonnage in December. Hecla has initiated a safety plan to strengthen operations at the mine.
Casa Berardi’s gold production for the year stood at 90,363 ounces, a 29% decrease from the previous year, attributed to wildfires in June and reduced underground mining as it shifts to surface operations.
The company’s production summary revealed that the fourth quarter of 2023 saw a 17% decrease in silver production and a 5% decrease in gold production compared to the third quarter. Lead and zinc production also fell by 36% and 15%, respectively.
Hecla Mining, established in 1891, is the largest silver producer in the United States, with operations in Alaska, Idaho, Quebec, and Yukon. The company is focusing on a growth strategy with the aim to produce up to 20 million ounces of silver by 2025, capitalizing on silver’s essential role in energy transition and solar electricity generation.
This report is based on a press release statement.
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