Cash and Cash-Like Investments Now $213 Million; a $14 Million Increase Over Year-End
Hecla Mining Company (NYSE:HL) today announced preliminary production, operating costs and cash balance for the first quarter of 2017.
First Quarter 2017 Highlights (Preliminary Results)
- Silver production of 3.4 million ounces; gold production of 56,113 ounces.
- Silver equivalent production of 10.6 million ounces or gold equivalent production of almost 151,000 ounces.
- Lead production of 8,636 tons; zinc production of 15,537 tons.
- Cost of sales and other direct production costs and depreciation, depletion and amortization (“cost of sales”) of $107.6 million, an increase over 2016 reflecting open pit production from Casa Berardi.
- Silver cash cost, after by-product credits, per ounce of $0.84, the lowest in over five years and below our full year estimate of $2.75.
- Cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments of approximately $213 million at March 31, 2017, an increase of about $14 million for the quarter compared to a $21 million decline in the first quarter, 2016.
As quoted in the news release, company president and CEO Phillips S. Baker Jr. said:
The first quarter production at Greens Creek and San Sebastian exceeded our expectations, more than offsetting the shortfall at Lucky Friday due to a strike by the union workers. While our cost of sales increased over last year due to the higher throughput from the Casa Berardi open pit operations, our cash cost, after by-product credits, declined 73% over the first quarter 2016 to $0.84 per silver ounce. This strong operating performance allowed us to add $14 million of cash since the end of the year, marking the fourth consecutive quarter of increasing cash balances.