DALLAS, TX / ACCESSWIRE / March 21, 2019 / Hecla Mining Company (HL):
Hecla Mining Company is a leading precious metals producer specializing in silver and gold mining. The Company discovers, acquires, develops and produces unrefined precipitate and bullion bars (doré), which is further refined and sold to precious metals traders, as well as lead, zinc and bulk concentrates sold to custom smelters and brokers. Hecla operates silver mines in Alaska, Idaho, and Mexico, as well as gold mines in Nevada and Quebec, Canada. The Company has grown through acquisitions over the years and also has an active exploration and development program in place to grow its reserve levels for future production throughout North America. Hecla was founded in 1891 and is headquartered in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, with a sister office in Vancouver, B.C. As last reported, the Company employs approximately 1,700 worldwide.
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- As part of a defined strategy for creating shareholder value, Hecla focuses on long-lived, low-cost mines for its portfolio that will generate returns over decades, as opposed to just the near-term.
- The mining industry for precious and base metals is highly competitive as well as highly regulated; Hecla operates in low-risk and mining-friendly jurisdictions with a North American focused asset portfolio, minimizing the geopolitical risk that some of its peers are facing abroad.
- As of 12/31/18, Hecla reported record reserve levels, detailing 191M oz. of silver (8% increase over PY), 2.9M oz. of gold (26% increase over PY), 932,000 tons of zinc (11% increase over PY) and 774,000 tons of lead (5% over PY); these reserves for silver, gold and lead are the highest in Hecla's 128-year history.
- At the close of 2018, the Company was operating 5 producing mining units spread throughout the US, Canada and Mexico - Greens Creek, Lucky Friday, San Sebastian, Casa Berardi, as well as its recent Nevada acquisition.
- Hecla closed on its most recent purchase of the Klondex Mines, Ltd. in July 2018, adding three high-grade gold mines in Nevada, and integration and optimization has been ongoing; this covers more than 110 square miles situated in a historically prolific mining jurisdiction.
- Management is focused on continued exploration and development in target areas where the Company believes there are untapped reserves, with several projects underway.
- Hecla is at the forefront of innovation and technological advancements within the mining industry; investing in and creating these next-generation mines has increased output as well as reserves, improved margins, extended lives of current mines, improved productivity, and increased safety underground.
- Hecla has been improving its liquidity as well as leverage metrics over the past several fiscal years. The Company reported 2018 revenues of $567M vs. $578M for the prior year, with record gold sales for FY18 at slightly higher realized gold prices, but that was offset by reduced silver production and lower silver sales with lower realized silver prices for 2018.
- Significant upside exists as the Company has prepared a new mine plan for Greens Creek that increases revenue while decreasing cost; also, Hecla is conducting a bulk sample in Mexico that could extend the mine life and has secured a third-party mill, and it is in the permitting process for Rock Creek and Montanore projects in Montana. Finally, the Company believes there is substantial upside for Fire Creek and Hatter Graben in Nevada.
- Workers at Lucky Friday remain on strike (since March 2017); during this period, Hecla is conducting limited production while waiting for the arrival of the Remote Vein Miner machine in 2019.
We believe that certain near-term catalysts could drive share price appreciation for HL investors, including, but not limited to: continued ramp up of gold production at Fire Creek in Nevada, ending of the strike at Lucky Friday, increases in gold, silver, lead and zinc pricing, exploration discoveries, additional progress with permitting for Rock Creek and Montanore, as well as further increases in the level of Hecla's reserves.
About Stonegate Capital Partners
Stonegate Capital Partners is a Dallas-based corporate advisory firm dedicated to serving the specialized needs of small-cap public companies. Since our inception, our mission has been to find innovative, undervalued public companies for our network of leading institutional investors who seek high-quality investment opportunities.
SOURCE: Stonegate Capital Partners
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