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Hecla Mining Co. Message Board

  • seekingpeaceii seekingpeaceii Aug 12, 2000 7:50 AM Flag

    HL has finally bottomed........

    at least according to the logic of the "Experts",
    a stock truly bottoms when investor's won't buy at
    any price because they are sick of losing money on
    the stock. They don't even want to hear how good a
    company it is or how well managed it is...& how the whole
    sector is down... The Market is totally disgusted with
    mining & Precious Metals. I'm thankful the bottom is
    here....TIME TO BUY!! HL is embarassingly low priced--all
    bulls**t aside, an interest in a Gold/Silver Mine can be
    bought for less than the cost of mining it!!!! WOW! HL
    is selling @ near 1/2 Book Value!!!!Gold & Silver
    are selling at or near 15 year lows- BELOW THE COST
    OF MINING THEM!!!!! hmmm, what did Mr Buffet
    say...that most of his wealth was due to a few insights....I
    believe I'm getting one now. My humble opinion/insight
    goes like this: Forget whats happening in the stock
    market and the so called "experts"(The Ones that said HL
    should be quarantined deserve special recognition now &
    later, that pisses me off!) Au & Ag have been recognized
    as a source of wealth and sought after for at least
    5000 years....& contrary to market sentiment, it still
    is valuable..TIME TO BUY! Thanks for the tip, Art,
    oh, and uh, those ugly things i said about you & your
    management team, well i was wrong then...just wasn't on the
    same page...Things are looking up! Me & a few
    shareholders had a shareholder meeting in the parkinglot over
    a few beers today and though we didn't have a
    Quorum you might be interested that we voted to keep you
    on as President/CEO & i might ad that the general
    mood among the shareholders at the meeting was
    positive in its long term outlook for the company.

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    • buy some. I'll tell you why. That market is so thin that if someone put in a buy order for 10,000 shares of HLPRB it would double in price over night.

    • Why on earth would management pay $50
      for the preferred when then can buy it in the open market at $12 and change?

    • How can they go bankrupt with no debt?

    • still another scenario.

      It would appear as
      though there are about 2,250,000 preferred shares
      outstanding. At $50 per share that puts the underlying value
      of the preferred at about $112,500,000. HL sells the
      clay operation for about $125,000,000 and uses the
      proceeds to buy back the preferred stock; Ends up with
      about $12,500,000 cash; And improves the cash flow by
      over $8,000,000 annually through dividend savings. The
      common stock would rise in market value. Everybody wins
      and HL maintains its credibility with all factions
      involved and stays in the PM business.

    • Good discussion on this board!

      What about
      a scenerio like this:

      HL sells the Clay
      division and takes out the debt. With these creditors out
      of the way. Then HL is in a less hindered position
      to address dividends payed on the preferred

      In short, something along the lines of a
      pre-packaged bankruptcy where the deal is to convert the
      preferreds into common shares. Preferreds then become
      available for possible future equity financing and $8
      million a year in dividend expenditures are eliminated.

      These actions clean up the balance sheet and better
      alligns HL's cash flow to expenditures. In doing so, it
      positions HL for a new conventional loan package and one on
      better terms. In addition, it better positions HL for
      project financing including the added risks undertaken to
      place the Saladillo Property into

      Any feed back?


    • Yup, figured that was your direction there. The
      fullers earth market is still pretty good though for
      petroleum clean up. I wonder why they have not tried to get
      into the enhenced clays. I have a good buddy who has a
      polymer enhenced bentonite product that kicks butt on
      removal of metals and hydrocarbons from water. The
      fullers earths could be used similarly and have a number
      of interesting application for clean up of things
      like dioxins. The environmental market for clay is
      growing great guns.

    • to is known as "fullers earth" , & is a highly
      absorbant claylike substance used predominantly for
      "fulling" wool cloth, until Mr Ed Lowe started marketing it
      as Kitty Litter (tm)which by the way made him a
      large fortune. (in the seventies 5 or 600 Million
      dollars was still considered a lot of money)this is not
      Ball Clay or even Bentonite clay but is mostly
      hydrated aluminum silicates, & i believe at present is
      considered a waste product to be dealt with before you get
      to the good stuff-KT has tons, of this fuller's
      earth- of course, they have probably already considered
      this or i would be disappointed in them. The KT
      Crenshaw, MS plant has been selling to the driveway sealant
      market for many years - don't know why they didn't get
      in the absorbant business- maybe they just wanted to
      stay with ball clay,who knows. Make no mistake they
      still have a few highly effective people there that are
      experienced and knowledgeable in all aspects of the ball clay
      business. Bentonite clay in Cat Litter has reduced the
      demand for Fuller's Earth in the cat market with the
      advent of the poop scoop, Cat Owners now just scoop out
      the "used" clump of litter instead of changing the
      whole tray. why keep a Cat inside after the mice are
      gone? got me, then you'd have to feed em' too. You
      gotta admire a man like Ed Lowe, its rumored he could
      spit licorice pretty good too...

    • hard to see good ball clay sold as kitty litter.
      Standard kitty litter bentonite sells for about $23 per
      ton, whereas, ball clays as good as KT sell for

      The idea that they sell into the sealant market is
      not a bad one though. Thats a good market, as is the
      potential for sales into the structural concrete

      I would not put it past Sibilcon to make a bid. The
      do not currently have US capacity and WBB clays have
      minimal penetration into the US market. They also have
      the cash to play.

    • KT should be selling clay(fuller's earth) to the
      Kitty Litter people- the have to handle it anyway. I
      realize bentonite is a big thing now but there is still a
      market for absorbant clay. Then KT could sell driveway
      sealant in spring -summer and sell absorbant clay to
      remove snow in winter from driveways - much better than
      salt. If KT is selling in April 2001, who is buyer?

    • Wish I was always right, but at least I am right
      on things that count where minerals are

      The sale of KT should pull in between 80-120 million
      bucks from what any source we have can tell us. The
      time to do the deal will be at least a little slow due
      to the extreme consolidation of the clay industry
      right now. SEC and FTC scrutiny are going to be
      intense. The last truely major deal was the buy out of GIX
      by RHI AG, a move that put the refractory clay biz
      almost all in the hands of a single firm and took 8
      months to complete. So, Art has promised an April date,
      which seems pretty reasonible to finish haggling and
      get approvals from the government.

      Frankly, if
      we did not have the extreme consolidation out there,
      the company would fetch a better price. Some of the
      potential bidders will simply not be allowed to pick off
      the KT clay division. IMERYS, for an example, has far
      too much of the industry under control for the Feds
      to allow them to buy it. RHI AG is in the same

      And frankly, with the settlement on Grouse Creek
      coming up and the sign off by the Feds and the Tribes
      also due soon, the envrionmental nightmares are just
      about done with. It looks as if the environmental set
      asides will not be a permanant feature. So the cash
      generated above the debt buy back can go to expansion
      plans, getting operations on the new mines in Mexico
      going and possibly picking up some of the other
      depressed firms.

      Much as I hate to see KT go to
      other hands, it is a move that will generate the life
      saving cash the firm needs to get moving back to

      As for solvency, HL is trading at less then half
      book. You are not going bankrupt if your assets are
      double your debts. Instead, you sell some asset to cover
      you debt position, put your house in order and take
      another kick at the cat.

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