US silver and gold producer Hecla Mining produced lower third-quarter silver production of 2.5-million ounces and gold output of 72 995 oz, but the miner stated on Tuesday that the production was in line with its expectations.
Silver production fell by 24% year-on-year in the September quarter, mainly as a result of lower grades at the Greens Creek mine, in Alaska.
Gold production increased by 16% year-on-year, helped by the addition of two months of production from the newly-acquired Nevada operations, which produced 13 789 oz of gold and 84 145 oz of silver since the acquisition on July 20.
At the Lucky Friday operation, in Idaho, production dropped sharply to 31 639 oz of silver in the quarter under review, from 88 298 oz a year earlier, owing to an ongoing strike by salaried staff.
President and CEO Phillips Baker said that the company was on track to meet its full-year production estimates at all operations.
“At our new Nevada assets, we are focusing on completing enough underground development at Fire Creek so by about mid-2019 we should have consistent production with an expected 50% higher throughput. We have begun the access drift to the Hatter Graben, which could provide the next leg of growth in Nevada,” he said.
Further, Baker noted that Hecla’s revolving line of credit remained undrawn and that it was unlikely that the company would make use of it.
At September 30, Hecla had cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments of about $61-million.
The miner will report third-quarter financial results on November 8.