U.S. Markets open in 2 hrs 17 mins

Hecla Reports Third Quarter 2018 Results

COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho--(BUSINESS WIRE)--

Casa Berardi has record low costs

Hecla Mining Company (NYSE:HL) today announced third quarter financial and operating results.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Net loss applicable to common shareholders of $23.3 million, or $0.05 per share on lower prices of all four metals.
  • Cost of sales and other direct production costs and depreciation, depletion and amortization ("cost of sales") of $137.1 million.
  • Gross profit of $6.6 million and adjusted EBITDA of $40.3 million.1
  • Silver production of 2.5 million ounces at cash cost, after by-product credits, of $4.12 per ounce.2
  • Gold production of 72,995 ounces, up 16%, mainly due to additional ounces from Nevada.
  • Casa Berardi All In Sustaining Costs ("AISC"), after by-product credits, reduced to $896 per gold ounce, on higher throughput and lower stripping costs.3
  • Aggressive $12 million exploration spending was highest in Company history (see exploration press release issued November 6, 2018).
  • Strong financial position: Cash and cash equivalents of $60.9 million at September 30, 2018. Revolving line of credit undrawn at quarter end. Credit limit increased to $250 million on November 1, 2018.
  • Estimates for annual Company-wide silver and gold production and costs are refined.

"Our strategy is working. The EBITDA we generated despite low metals prices is a result of the improvements we made in our mines. A case in point is Casa Berardi, which is generating strong cash flow, with lower costs, higher mine throughput and an extended mine life," said Phillips S. Baker, Jr., President and CEO. "The Nevada operations are on the same path as Casa Berardi and Greens Creek, with the development and processes which should increase throughput and make the mines more efficient. In the meantime, the higher costs in Nevada are short-term and a function of electing to produce less to avoid sterilizing newly discovered mineralization."

"Greens Creek has been in production for about 30 years, but the mine continues to improve with a new mine plan that significantly increases its value. San Sebastian continues to mine the underground oxide ores and is on the verge of collecting the sulfide bulk sample which could supplement current production as well as significantly extend mine life. At Lucky Friday, our salaried employees are now focusing on production, rather than development, to minimize the financial impact of the strike. Finally, we don't have any large capital projects looming, and we plan to operate at a cash neutral basis, using our $250 million revolving line of credit sparingly to temporarily fund working capital requirements. We do not consider it a long-term source of borrowing," Mr. Baker added.

FINANCIAL OVERVIEW

  Third Quarter Ended   Nine Months Ended
HIGHLIGHTS  

September 30,
2018

 

September 30,
2017

 

September 30,
2018

 

September 30,
2017

FINANCIAL DATA                
Sales (000) $143,649   $140,839 $430,617   $417,662
Gross profit (000) $6,576 $42,963 $80,364 $106,139
(Loss) income applicable to common shareholders (000) ($23,322 ) $176 ($3,284 ) $33
Basic and diluted (loss) income per common share ($0.05 ) $— ($0.01 ) $—
(Loss) income (000) ($23,184 ) $314 ($2,870 ) $447
Cash provided by operating activities (000) $28,192 $28,294 $75,210 $74,115
 

Net loss applicable to common shareholders for the third quarter was $23.3 million, or $0.05 per share, compared to net income of $0.2 million, or $0.00 per share, for the same period a year ago, the result mainly due to the following items:

  • Sales of $143.6 million were impacted by lower silver and gold production at San Sebastian and Greens Creek, offset by the addition of Nevada sales in the third quarter 2018.
  • Lower realized silver and gold metals prices, as well as lower realized base metals prices.
  • Gain on base metal derivatives contracts of $19.5 million, which was net of realized gains on contracts monetized for cash proceeds of $32.8 million in the quarter.
  • Net foreign exchange loss of $2.2 million versus a loss of $4.9 million in the third quarter of 2017 due to a weakening of the Canadian dollar.
  • Interest expense, net of amount capitalized, of $10.1 million in the third quarter of 2018, increased over the $9.4 million recognized in the third quarter of 2017.
  • An increase of $4.6 million in exploration and pre-development expenditures over the third quarter of 2017, particularly focused on Nevada and San Sebastian operations.
  • Suspension-related costs of $6.5 million included Lucky Friday costs, as well as $1.1 million for curtailment of production from the Midas Mine in Nevada, along with $1.4 million in non-cash depreciation expense, in the third quarter of 2018.
  • Acquisition costs of $6.1 million recorded in the third quarter 2018.

Operating cash flow was $28.2 million compared to $28.3 million in the third quarter of 2017, and included the proceeds received by monetizing the base metals hedges, offset by the net loss and lower working capital changes recorded in the third quarter 2018.

Adjusted EBITDA was $40.3 million compared to $60.5 million in the third quarter of 2017, with the decrease mainly due to lower base metals prices, higher exploration expense due to the addition of Hecla Nevada, and acquisition costs recorded in the third quarter 2018.

Capital expenditures (excluding capitalized interest) totaled $40.7 million for the third quarter 2018 compared to $25.5 million in the third quarter of 2017, with the increase mainly due to the addition of Hecla Nevada, capitalization of costs recorded in the third quarter 2018 for the Remote Vein Miner (RVM) project at Lucky Friday, and costs related to underground sulfide development at San Sebastian, partly offset by lower capital spending at Casa Berardi. Expenditures at the operations were $15.0 million at Hecla Nevada, $11.0 million at Greens Creek, $8.2 million at Casa Berardi, $4.8 million at Lucky Friday and $1.6 million at San Sebastian.

Metals Prices

The average realized silver price in the third quarter 2018 was $14.68 per ounce, 14% lower than the $17.01 price realized in the third quarter of 2017. The average realized gold price in the third quarter was $1,205 per ounce, 6% lower than the prior year period. Realized lead and zinc prices decreased by 13%, and 22% respectively, from the third quarter of 2017.

OPERATIONS OVERVIEW

Overview

The following table provides the production summary on a consolidated basis for the third quarter and nine months ended September 30, 2018 and 2017:

  Third Quarter Ended   Nine Months Ended
     

September 30,
2018

 

September 30,
2017

 

September 30,
2018

 

September 30,
2017

PRODUCTION SUMMARY            
Silver - Ounces produced 2,523,691   3,323,157 7,654,118   9,500,058
Payable ounces sold 2,588,478 2,540,817 6,993,695 8,098,652
Gold - Ounces produced 72,995 63,046 191,116 171,720
Payable ounces sold 68,568 57,380 183,050 161,921
Lead - Tons produced 4,238 5,370 15,387 18,426
Payable tons sold 3,986 2,936 12,599 13,612
Zinc - Tons produced 12,795 14,497 42,312 43,000
Payable tons sold 9,282 8,444 30,072 29,269
 

The following tables provide a summary of the final production, cost of sales, cash cost, after by-product credits, per silver and gold ounce, and AISC, after by-product credits, per silver and gold ounce for the third quarter and nine months ended September 30, 2018:

Third Quarter Ended       Greens Creek   Lucky Friday   San Sebastian   Casa Berardi   Nevada Ops
Sept 30, 2018   Silver   Gold   Silver   Gold   Silver   Silver   Gold   Gold   Silver   Gold   Silver
Production (ounces)   2,523,691     72,995     1,876,417     11,559     31,639     521,931     3,666     43,981     9,559     13,789   84,145
Increase/(decrease) over 2017   (24 )%   16 %   (20 )%   (8 )%   (64 )%   (41 )%   (42 )%   %   (1 )%   N/A   N/A
Cost of sales & other direct production costs and depreciation, depletion and amortization (000)   $ 66,487     $ 70,586     $ 52,163     N/A     N/A     $ 14,325     N/A     $ 51,267     N/A     $ 19,319   N/A
Increase/(decrease) over 2017   37 %   43 %   24 %   N/A     N/A     114 %   N/A     4 %   N/A     N/A   N/A
Cash costs, after by-prod credits, per silver or gold ounce 2,4   $ 4.12     $ 803     $ 1.92     N/A     N/A     $ 12.02     N/A     $ 686     N/A     $ 1,179   N/A
Increase/(decrease) over 2017   (754 )%   7 %   (1,380 )%   N/A     N/A     485 %   N/A     (9 )%   N/A     N/A   N/A
AISC, after by-prod credits,

per silver or gold ounce 3

  $ 15.68     $ 1,143     $ 9.20     N/A     N/A     $ 16.95     N/A     $ 896     N/A     $ 1,932   N/A
Increase/(decrease) over 2017   136 %   5 %   106 %   N/A     N/A     2,142 %   N/A     (18 )%   N/A     N/A   N/A
                                             
Nine Months Ended Greens Creek Lucky Friday San Sebastian Casa Berardi Nevada Ops
Sept 30, 2018   Silver   Gold   Silver   Gold   Silver   Silver   Gold   Gold   Silver   Gold   Silver
Production (ounces)   7,654,118     191,116     5,789,440     38,396     156,015     1,593,770     12,051     126,880     30,748     13,789   84,145
Increase/(decrease) over 2017   (19 )%   11 %   (7 )%   (2 )%   (80 )%   (36 )%   (37 )%   12 %   15 %   N/A   N/A
Cost of sales and other direct production costs and depreciation, depletion and amortization (000)   $ 178,784     $ 171,469     $ 141,763     N/A     $ 5,844     $ 31,177     N/A     $ 152,150     N/A     $ 19,319   N/A
Increase/(decrease) over 2017   3 %   24 %   1 %   N/A     (60 )%   70 %   N/A     10 %   N/A     N/A   N/A

Cash costs, after by-prod credits, per silver or gold ounce 2,4

  $ 0.05     $ 802     $ (2.22 )   N/A     N/A     $ 8.28     N/A     $ 760     N/A     $ 1,179   N/A
Increase/(decrease) over 2017   (69 )%   (7 )%   (404 )%   N/A     N/A     356 %   N/A     (11 )%   N/A     N/A   N/A
AISC, after by-prod credits, per silver or gold ounce 3   $ 10.71     $ 1,095     $ 4.71     N/A     N/A     $ 13.34     N/A     $ 1,004     N/A     $ 1,932   N/A
Increase/(decrease) over 2017   33 %   (11 )%   (16 )%   N/A     N/A     9,629 %   N/A     (18 )%   N/A     N/A   N/A
       

Greens Creek Mine - Alaska

At the Greens Creek mine, 1.9 million ounces of silver and 11,559 ounces of gold were produced in the third quarter, compared to 2.3 million ounces and 12,563 ounces, respectively, in the third quarter of 2017. Lower silver production was expected as a result of lower grades due to mine sequencing. The mill operated at an average of 2,316 tons per day (tpd) in the third quarter, 3% lower than the third quarter of 2017.

The cost of sales for the third quarter was $52.2 million, and the cash cost, after by-product credits, per silver ounce, was $1.92, compared to $41.9 million and ($0.15), respectively, for the third quarter of 2017.2 The AISC, after by-product credits, was $9.20 per silver ounce for the third quarter compared to $4.47 in the third quarter of 2017.3 The per ounce silver costs were higher primarily due to lower base metals prices and the number of tons milled.

A new 2019 mine plan should reduce the amount of development in the next four years to access significant ore reserves at shallower depth in proximity to old workings (East Ore). It also utilizes existing workings, rather than developing a new ramp system, to access these materials and brings this higher-grade ore into production beginning in 2019, instead of near the end of the mine life, which should increase revenues over the next few years. The combination of exploration success over the past year and the optimization of sequencing should enable the mine life to be maintained or extended.

"When we acquired Greens Creek, our goal was consistency of production at an increased throughput. Having achieved that we moved to continuous improvements like the increased recoveries in the mill. Now we have identified a new mine plan that improves the mine's economics by increasing production, reducing both development and the mining fleet while potentially extending the mine life. The improvements we have made to this mine demonstrate the importance of having a long mine life that allows the time to make improvements and realize their benefits," said Mr. Phillips S. Baker, Jr.

Casa Berardi - Quebec

At the Casa Berardi mine, 43,981 ounces of gold were produced in the third quarter, the second highest quarterly gold production since acquisition, including 7,614 ounces from the East Mine Crown Pillar (EMCP) pit; compared to 44,141 ounces in the third quarter of 2017. The steady production was primarily due to ore throughput. The mill operated at an average of 3,846 tpd in the third quarter, the highest rate since acquisition, and an increase of 8% over the third quarter of 2017.

The cost of sales was $51.3 million for the third quarter and the cash cost, after by-product credits, per gold ounce was $686, compared to $49.3 million and $750, respectively, in the prior year period.2,4 The decrease in cash cost, after by-product credits, per gold ounce is due to the higher gold production. The AISC, after by-product credits, was $896 per gold ounce for the third quarter compared to $1,091 in the third quarter of 2017, primarily due to lower capital spending.3

The automated 985 drift project continues to improve the operating efficiency of the mine, with the autonomous haul truck running better and with higher availability than originally anticipated. The second 40-ton Sandvik autonomous haul truck is scheduled to arrive in the fourth quarter. Operating two autonomous trucks is expected to result in operating savings of several million dollars a year.

"Casa Berardi was the standout mine for us this quarter. The improvements and innovations we have made in the mine are paying off with the declining cost profile, higher gold production and cash flow on record throughput," said Mr. Phillips S. Baker, Jr. "We are very proud of the cover story on Casa Berardi in CIM's September/October issue."

San Sebastian - Mexico

At the San Sebastian mine, 521,931 ounces of silver and 3,666 ounces of gold were produced in the third quarter, compared to 880,885 ounces and 6,342 ounces, respectively, in the third quarter of 2017. The lower silver and gold production was expected as a result of lower grades. The mill operated at an average of 432 tpd, an increase of 9% over the third quarter of 2017.

The cost of sales was $14.3 million for the third quarter and the cash cost, after by-product credits, was $12.02 per silver ounce, compared to $6.7 million and ($3.12), respectively, in the third quarter of 2017.2 The AISC, after by-product credits, was $16.95 per silver ounce for the third quarter compared to ($0.83) in the third quarter of 2017, principally due to the higher costs of mining underground versus higher-grade stockpiles and work being conducted on the Velardeña tailings facility.3 The Company plans to process a bulk sample by the end of the year with revenues expected in the first quarter of 2019. If successful, this could lead to the beginning of mining of the sulfides by late 2019.

"The upcoming bulk sample of the Hugh Zone sulfide material could significantly increase the mine life. We plan to continue our "capital lite" strategy here since we already have a contract with a third-party mill and anticipate using a contract miner. With almost no capital at risk, the returns on the investment have been extraordinary," said Mr. Phillips S. Baker, Jr.

Nevada Operations (acquired on July 20, 2018)

For the period July 20 to September 30, 2018, 13,789 ounces of gold were produced. The Nevada operations are focused on development and exploration activities at Fire Creek and Hollister at the expense of production. Little development had been undertaken during 2018 at these properties by the former owners. Our expectation is to increase Fire Creek throughput from 350 tons per day to 550 tons per day by mid-2019. The development of a drift to the Hatter Graben exploration target is underway with completion expected late in 2019.

During the reporting period, approximately $15.0 million in capital and $4.5 million in exploration expense was invested in Nevada. Of the $15.0 million in capital, $7.3 million related to the completion of the tailings facility at Midas which should provide the necessary waste capacity for the next four years, while $7.0 million was for development that is needed to increase Fire Creek and Hollister mine throughput, and $0.7 million was spent on completing the CIL circuit at the Midas Mill which is expected to increase the recoveries of the ore being processed from Hollister.

Notable highlights include:

  • General
    • Movement of personnel and equipment to Fire Creek and Hollister is substantially complete.
  • Midas
    • Production at Midas is winding down with minimal production of previously developed ore planned until year end.
    • Midas mill CIL tanks are operational, and completion of the remaining installation work is expected in the fourth quarter.
    • New tailings storage facility is on track for completion in 2018.
  • Fire Creek
    • Now fully staffed (with the addition of the Midas crews).
    • Ground conditions are improving and new in-cycle procedures have been developed for consistent development advance rates.
    • The ramp-up in development is proceeding with the addition of more headings.
    • Installation of the shotcrete plant is nearing completion, will be added to the development cycle to mitigate ground issues and support rehabilitation of existing haulage ways.
    • The mining of select high-grade zones has been moved from Q3 2018 into 2019 as the ore extended vertically farther than expected, and development is needed for full extraction of the ore panels.
  • Hollister/Hatter Graben
    • Development of the Hatter Graben is ahead of schedule with about 10% of the footage completed.

"In the 100 days we have owned the Nevada properties we have been in continuous change - winding down Midas, resolving the roadbed issues at Fire Creek, advancing the development at Hatter Graben, and completing the capital projects on the mill and tailings facility. We expect the pace of change to continue as we commission a new batch plant that should improve ground control, test a road-header to improve mining in soft rock and rework the mine plan as we gain more knowledge. However, we don't believe we will need to make significant new financial investment to put the mine on the same improvement path that we have seen at Greens Creek and Casa Berardi," said Mr. Phillips S. Baker, Jr.

Lucky Friday Mine - Idaho

At the Lucky Friday mine, 31,639 ounces of silver were produced in the third quarter, compared to 88,298 ounces in the third quarter of 2017, with the salaried workers focused mostly on development.

There was no cost of sales for the third quarter, as there were no concentrate shipments during the quarter.

The Company is now focusing on limited production by salaried staff to help minimize the financial impact of the ongoing strike. In addition, construction of the Remote Vein Miner (RVM) continues in Sweden. The RVM has the potential to revolutionize how the mine operates, making it safer and more efficient. Costs related to care-and-maintenance of the mine are reported in a separate line item in our condensed consolidated statement of operations and are excluded from the calculation of cost of sales, cash cost, after by-product credits, per silver ounce and AISC, after by-product credits, per silver ounce.

"Lucky Friday has the longest mine life of all our properties, but at these silver prices and with the work rules the union workers have clung to, even at full production the mine doesn't generate significant free cash flow. So, we are operating to minimize the cash consumption before we go back into production which we expect to be primarily from the RVM," said Phillips S. Baker, Jr.

EXPLORATION AND PRE-DEVELOPMENT

Expenditures

Exploration (including corporate development) expenses were $12.4 million, an increase of $5.2 million compared to the third quarter of 2017. Full year exploration (including corporate development) expenses are expected to be $35 million, up from $23.5 million in 2017, in part reflecting exploration at the Nevada operations, San Sebastian, Casa Berardi and Greens Creek and drilling at Kinskuch and Little Baldy.

A complete summary of exploration for the third quarter can be found in the news release entitled "Hecla Reports Continued Drilling Success in the Third Quarter" released on November 6, 2018.

"This quarter's exploration, at $12 million, is 60% more than any quarter in the past five years primarily as a result of adding Nevada exploration to an already substantial program. While there are good results from all the programs, we plan to pare back future expenditures to operate within cash flow," said Mr. Phillips S. Baker, Jr.

PRE-DEVELOPMENT

Pre-development spending was $1.2 million for the quarter, for permitting of Rock Creek and Montanore.

In August, the U.S. Forest Service issued its Final Record of Decision (ROD) authorizing Phase 1, which is the exploration phase, for Rock Creek.

At the Montanore project, the Forest Service continues to work on a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), pursuant to the 2017 Montana Federal District Court remand of the previous Forest Service ROD. The court's decision allows the agency to advance authorizations for the initial evaluation phase of the project. A draft Supplemental EIS is anticipated in the first half of 2019.

BASE METALS AND CURRENCY HEDGING

Base Metals Forward Sales Contracts

There are no forward sales contracts outstanding at this time, other than provisional hedges (which address changes in prices between shipment and settlement with customers).

Foreign Currency Forward Purchase Contracts

The following table summarizes the quantities of Canadian dollars and Mexican pesos committed under financially settled forward purchase contracts at September 30, 2018:

 

Currency Under Contract
(in thousands of CAD/MXN)

  Average Exchange Rate
CAD   MXN CAD/USD   MXN/USD
2018 settlements 29,300   47,110 1.30   19.66
2019 settlements 91,200 124,320 1.31 20.28
2020 settlements 61,700 7,100 1.29 20.72
2021 settlements 36,500 1.28
2022 settlements 6,400 1.27
 

2018 ESTIMATES5

The Company is providing updated annual estimates as follows:

2018 Production Outlook

        Silver Production

(Moz)

    Gold Production

(Koz)

    Silver Equivalent

(Moz)

    Gold Equivalent

(Koz)

        Original

(if revised)

    Current     Original

(if revised)

    Current     Original

(if revised)

    Current     Original

(if revised)

    Current
Greens Creek       7.5-8.1     7.6-7.9     50-55     50-53     21.0-22.5     21.1-22.1    

300-315

    301-310
Lucky Friday                                                  
San Sebastian       2.0-2.5     2.0-2.2     15-17     15-16     2.9-3.7     2.9-3.3     41-52     41-47
Casa Berardi                   157-162     161-165     11.0-11.5     11.3-11.7     157-162     161-165
Nevada Operations             0.1-0.2     40-50     36-41     2.9-3.8     2.6-3.1     41-52     37-43
Total       9.5-10.6     9.7-10.3     262-284     262-275     37.8-41.5     37.9-40.2     539-581     540-565
                                 

2018 Cost Outlook

        Costs of Sales (million)    

Cash cost, after by-product credits, per

silver/gold ounce2,4

   

AISC, after by-product credits, per

produced silver/gold ounce3

        Original

(if revised)

    Current     Original

(if revised)

    Current     Original

(if revised)

    Current
Greens Creek       $ 198     $ 183       $ (0.50 )     $ (1.00 )     $ 7.00       $ 6.00
Lucky Friday                                              
San Sebastian       $ 44     $ 42      

$

8.50

      $ 9.50      

$

12.50

      $ 14.00
Total Silver       $ 242     $ 225       $ 1.50       $ 1.00       $ 12.75       $ 12.25
Casa Berardi       $ 185     $ 203       $ 800       $ 775       $ 1,100       $ 1,050
Nevada Operations       $ 68     $ 64       $ 800       $ 1,275       $ 1,100       $ 1,875
Total Gold       $ 253     $ 267       $ 800       $ 850       $ 1,100       $ 1,200
                         

2018 Capital and Exploration Outlook

   

Original
(if revised)

  Current
2018E Capital expenditures (excluding capitalized interest)       $140-$145 million
2018E Exploration expenditures (includes Corporate Development)   $34-$37 million   $35-$37 million
2018E Pre-development expenditures   $5 million   $4 million
2018E Research and Development expenditures   $6-$10 million   $7-$9 million
   

DIVIDENDS

The Board of Directors declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.0025 per share of common stock, payable on or about December 3, 2018, to stockholders of record on November 20, 2018. The realized silver price was $14.68 in the third quarter and therefore did not satisfy the criteria for a larger dividend under the Company's dividend policy.

The Board of Directors also declared the regular quarterly dividend of $0.875 per share on the 157,816 outstanding shares of Series B Cumulative Convertible Preferred Stock. This represents a total amount to be paid of approximately $138,000. The cash dividend is payable on or about January 2, 2019 to shareholders of record on December 14, 2018.

CONFERENCE CALL AND WEBCAST

A conference call and webcast will be held Thursday, November 8, at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time to discuss these results. You may join the conference call by dialing toll-free 1-855-760-8158 or for international dialing 1-720-634-2922. The participant passcode is HECLA. Hecla's live and archived webcast can be accessed at www.hecla-mining.com under Investors or via Thomson StreetEvents Network.

ABOUT HECLA

Founded in 1891, Hecla Mining Company (HL) is a leading low-cost U.S. silver producer with operating mines in Alaska, Idaho, and Mexico and is a growing gold producer with operating mines in Quebec, Canada and in Nevada. The Company also has exploration and pre-development properties in eight world-class silver and gold mining districts in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

NOTES

Non-GAAP Financial Measures

Non-GAAP financial measures are intended to provide additional information only and do not have any standard meaning prescribed by generally accepted accounting principles in the United States (GAAP). These measures should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for measures of performance prepared in accordance with GAAP.

(1) Adjusted EBITDA is a non-GAAP measurement, a reconciliation of which to net income (loss), the most comparable GAAP measure, can be found at the end of the release. Adjusted EBITDA is a measure used by management to evaluate the Company's operating performance but should not be considered an alternative to net income (loss), or cash provided by operating activities as those terms are defined by GAAP, and does not necessarily indicate whether cash flows will be sufficient to fund cash needs. In addition, the Company may use it when formulating performance goals and targets under its incentive program.

(2) Cash cost, after by-product credits, per silver or gold ounce is a non-GAAP measurement, a reconciliation of which to cost of sales and other direct production costs and depreciation, depletion and amortization (sometimes referred to as "cost of sales" in this release), can be found at the end of the release. It is an important operating statistic that management utilizes to measure each mine's operating performance. It also allows the benchmarking of performance of each mine versus those of our competitors. As a primary silver mining company, management also uses the statistic on an aggregate basis - aggregating the Greens Creek, Lucky Friday and San Sebastian mines - to compare performance with that of other primary silver mining companies. With regard to Casa Berardi and the Nevada operations, management uses cash cost, after by-product credits, per gold ounce to compare its performance with other gold mines. Similarly, the statistic is useful in identifying acquisition and investment opportunities as it provides a common tool for measuring the financial performance of other mines with varying geologic, metallurgical and operating characteristics. In addition, the Company may use it when formulating performance goals and targets under its incentive program. Cash cost, after by-product credits, per silver ounce is not presented for Lucky Friday for the third quarters of 2018 and 2017 and year to date 2018, as production was limited due to the strike and results are not comparable to those from prior periods and are not indicative of future operating results under full production. The estimated fair value of the stockpile acquired at Hollister has been removed from the cash cost, after by-product credits calculation.

(3) All in sustaining cost (AISC), after by-product credits, is a non-GAAP measurement, a reconciliation of which to cost of sales and other direct production costs and depreciation, depletion and amortization, the closest GAAP measurement, can be found in the end of the release. AISC, after by-product credits, includes cost of sales and other direct production costs, expenses for reclamation and exploration at the mine sites, corporate exploration related to sustaining operations, and all site sustaining capital costs. AISC, after by-product credits, is calculated net of depreciation, depletion, and amortization and by-product credits. AISC, after by-product credits, per silver ounce is not presented for Lucky Friday for the second quarters of 2018 and 2017 and the first half of 2018, as production was limited due to the strike and results are not comparable to those from prior periods and are not indicative of future operating results under full production.

Current GAAP measures used in the mining industry, such as cost of goods sold, do not capture all the expenditures incurred to discover, develop and sustain silver and gold production. Management believes that all in sustaining costs is a non-GAAP measure that provides additional information to management, investors and analysts to help in the understanding of the economics of our operations and performance compared to other producers and in the investor's visibility by better defining the total costs associated with production. Similarly, the statistic is useful in identifying acquisition and investment opportunities as it provides a common tool for measuring the financial performance of other mines with varying geologic, metallurgical and operating characteristics. In addition, the Company may use it when formulating performance goals and targets under its incentive program.

(4) Cash cost, after by-product credits, per gold ounce is only applicable to Casa Berardi and Nevada production. Gold produced from Greens Creek and San Sebastian is treated as a by-product credit against the silver cash cost.

Other

(5) Expectations for 2018 includes silver, gold, lead and zinc production from Greens Creek, San Sebastian, Casa Berardi and Nevada operations converted using Au $1,250/oz, Ag $16.00/oz, Zn $1.25/lb, and Pb $1.00/lb. Lucky Friday expectations are currently suspended as there is currently a strike. Numbers may be rounded.

Cautionary Statements to Investors on Forward-Looking Statements

This news release contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, which are intended to be covered by the safe harbor created by such sections and other applicable laws, including Canadian securities laws. Such forward-looking statements may include, without limitation: (i) estimates of future production and sales; (ii) the impact of the Klondex acquisition on the Company's operations and results; (iii) expectations regarding the development, growth potential, financial performance of the Company’s projects; (iv) ability to complete construction of the remote vein miner and for it to operate successfully; (v) impact of the Lucky Friday strike on production and cash flow; (vi) ability to generate value from innovations being introduced into the mines; (vii) impact of metals prices on cash costs, after by-product credits; and (viii) ability to permit and timing of Montana projects. Estimates or expectations of future events or results are based upon certain assumptions, which may prove to be incorrect. Such assumptions, include, but are not limited to: (i) there being no significant change to current geotechnical, metallurgical, hydrological and other physical conditions; (ii) permitting, development, operations and expansion of the Company’s projects being consistent with current expectations and mine plans; (iii) political/regulatory developments in any jurisdiction in which the Company operates being consistent with its current expectations; (iv) the exchange rates for the Canadian dollar and Mexican peso to the U.S. dollar, being approximately consistent with current levels; (v) certain price assumptions for gold, silver, lead and zinc; (vi) prices for key supplies being approximately consistent with current levels; (vii) the accuracy of our current mineral reserve and mineral resource estimates; and (viii) the Company’s plans for development and production will proceed as expected and will not require revision as a result of risks or uncertainties, whether known, unknown or unanticipated. Where the Company expresses or implies an expectation or belief as to future events or results, such expectation or belief is expressed in good faith and believed to have a reasonable basis. However, such statements are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors, which could cause actual results to differ materially from future results expressed, projected or implied by the “forward-looking statements.” Such risks include, but are not limited to gold, silver and other metals price volatility, operating risks, currency fluctuations, increased production costs and variances in ore grade or recovery rates from those assumed in mining plans, community relations, conflict resolution and outcome of projects or oppositions, litigation, political, regulatory, labor and environmental risks, and exploration risks and results, including that mineral resources are not mineral reserves, they do not have demonstrated economic viability and there is no certainty that they can be upgraded to mineral reserves through continued exploration. For a more detailed discussion of such risks and other factors, see the Company’s 2017 Form 10-K, filed on February 15, 2018, and Forms 10-Q filed on May 10, 2018 and August 9, 2018, with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), as well as the Company’s other SEC filings. The Company does not undertake any obligation to publicly release revisions to any “forward-looking statement,” including, without limitation, outlook, to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this news release, or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events, except as may be required under applicable securities laws. Investors should not assume that any lack of update to a previously issued “forward-looking statement” constitutes a reaffirmation of that statement. Continued reliance on “forward-looking statements” is at investors’ own risk.

           

HECLA MINING COMPANY

Condensed Consolidated Statements of (Loss) Income

(dollars and shares in thousands, except per share amounts - unaudited)

 
Third Quarter Ended Nine Months Ended

September 30,

2018

     

September 30,

2017

September 30,

2018

     

September 30,

2017

Sales of products $ 143,649   $ 140,839   $ 430,617   $ 417,662  
Cost of sales and other direct production costs 93,609 68,358 246,918 224,537
Depreciation, depletion and amortization 43,464   29,518   103,335   86,986  
137,073   97,876   350,253   311,523  
Gross profit 6,576   42,963   80,364   106,139  
 
Other operating expenses:
General and administrative 10,327 9,529 27,849 29,044
Exploration 12,411 7,255 27,609 17,622
Pre-development 1,195 1,757 3,615 4,061
Research and development 1,269 1,130 5,042 2,125
Other operating expense 448 134 1,767 1,590
Gain on disposition of properties, plants, equipment and mineral interests (3,208 ) (4,830 ) (3,374 ) (4,924 )
Provision or closed operations and reclamation 1,852 2,940 4,534 5,044
Suspension-related costs 6,519 4,780 18,337 14,385
Acquisition costs 6,139     9,656   25  
36,952   22,695   95,035   68,972  
Income from operations (30,376 ) 20,268   (14,671 ) 37,167  
Other income (expense):
Gain (loss) on derivative contracts 19,460 (11,226 ) 40,271 (16,548 )
Loss on disposition of investments (36 ) (36 ) (167 )
Unrealized (loss) gain on investments (2,207 ) (124 ) (2,461 ) (73 )
Foreign exchange (loss) gain (2,212 ) (4,917 ) 2,856 (10,258 )
Interest income and other (expense) income (346 ) 541 (294 ) 1,185
Interest expense, net of amount capitalized (10,146 ) (9,358 ) (30,019 ) (28,423 )
4,513   (25,084 ) 10,317   (54,284 )
(Loss) income before income taxes (25,863 ) (4,816 ) (4,354 ) (17,117 )
Income tax benefit 2,679   5,130   1,484   17,564  
Net (loss) income (23,184 ) 314 (2,870 ) 447
Preferred stock dividends (138 ) (138 ) (414 ) (414 )
(Loss) income applicable to common shareholders $ (23,322 ) $ 176   $ (3,284 ) $ 33  
Basic (loss) income per common share after preferred dividends $ (0.05 ) $   $ (0.01 ) $  
Diluted (loss) income per common share after preferred dividends $ (0.05 ) $   $ (0.01 ) $  
Weighted average number of common shares outstanding - basic 452,636   398,848   417,532   396,809  
Weighted average number of common shares outstanding - diluted 452,636   401,258   417,532  

400,176

 
  null