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Hecla Reports Exploration Results and Reserves

Press Release

Hecla Mining Company (NYSE:HL) today reported exploration results and year end reserves. The exploration program has resulted in the second highest silver reserves and the largest gold resource in Hecla’s history. Drilling results include very high-grade and wide intercepts.

“Hecla’s silver reserves are the second highest in our 133-year history at 238 million silver ounces and only 1% less than last year’s all-time highest reserve, and gold resource is the highest in our history,” said Phillips S. Baker, Jr., President and CEO. “The 2023 exploration program successfully expanded our reserves at Keno Hill and Lucky Friday and expanded mineralization at Greens Creek.”

Baker continued, “Keno Hill’s 2023 exploration provided an 11% increase in reserves, now 45% higher since the acquisition, and does not reflect much of the drilling reported this quarter, so we expect the reserve to grow. Drilling has intersected wider zones and higher grades – such as 54 ounces per ton silver over 39 feet – than are currently in the reserve model and has encountered high-grade mineralization more than 1,000 feet deeper than any previous drilling; both are changing the potential size of the deposit. At Greens Creek, Hecla’s exploration efforts spanning 37 years consistently yield remarkable results in both grade and width across the four key metals: silver, gold, zinc, and lead, and we still have many potential targets to drill. It’s almost as if we get a jump in reserves every few years that further extends mine life.”

Baker concluded, “With the recent acquisition of ATAC and its massive 700 square mile land package, we now have 20 district-sized properties with excellent exploration potential to explore and grow our resource base, primarily in the U.S. and Canada. Hecla produces almost half of silver in the U.S., and we expect to be Canada’s largest silver producer in 2024. With half a million ounces of silver required to produce 1 gigawatt of solar, Hecla is playing a key role in mining the silver the world needs.”


Select drill highlights from the company’s exploration programs include the following drill holes, additional drill holes and details are included later in this release.


  • Footwall Vein: 54.0 oz/ton silver, 4.8% lead, and 2.5% zinc over 39.5 feet
    • Includes: 77.1 oz/ton silver, 8.1% lead, and 3.2% zinc over 11.4 feet; and
    • Includes: 122.1 oz/ton silver, 8.0% lead, and 6.5% zinc over 8.9 feet
  • Footwall Vein: 58.6 oz/ton silver, 3.6% lead, and 4.3% zinc over 10.1 feet
  • Main Vein: 32.7 oz/ton silver, 1.7% lead, and 1.7% zinc over 15.2 feet
    • Includes: 78.9 oz/ton silver, 3.9% lead, and 2.3% zinc over 5.8 feet
  • Main Vein: 32.4 oz/ton silver, 8.3% lead, and 4.1% zinc over 9.2 feet
    • Includes: 114.9 oz/ton silver, 41.5% lead, and 8.4% zinc over 1.5 feet


West Zone

  • 63.4 oz/ton silver, 0.64 oz/ton gold, 8.3% zinc, and 4.3% lead over 26.04 feet
  • 28.3 oz/ton silver, 0.08 oz/ton gold, 8.3% zinc, and 4.7% lead over 12.8 feet
  • 35.2 oz/ton silver, 0.08 oz/ton gold, 10.0% zinc, and 6.3% lead over 27.3 feet

Upper Plate Zone

  • 19.6 oz/ton silver, 0.05 oz/ton gold, 10.9% zinc and 5.4% lead over 27.9 feet
  • 28.3 oz/ton silver, 0.01 oz/ton gold, 2.6% zinc and 1.3% lead over 23.9 feet

5250 Zone

  • 18.7 oz/ton silver, 0.05 oz/ton gold, 11.4% zinc, and 3.6% lead over 26.8 feet


  • Silver reserves at 238 million ounces with additions at Keno Hill and Lucky Friday after depletion.
  • Keno Hill reserves increased 10% to 55 million ounces, an increase of 45% since acquisition.
  • Gold reserves decreased by 16% due to the strategic change to transition to a surface operation only at Casa Berardi.
  • Measured and indicated gold reserves increased 21% and inferred gold resources increased 11% following the acquisition of ATAC Resources Ltd (“ATAC”).


On a consolidated basis, the Company replaced 11 million ounces of silver produced during the year. At the Lucky Friday and Keno Hill, production was replaced, and additional silver reserves were defined. Greens Creek saw a drop in silver reserves of 10% due to depletion and other changes not offset by drilling additions. The Company’s proven and probable gold reserves declined 16% to 2.1 million ounces due to having successfully implemented a strategic shift at Casa Berardi transitioning the operation to an open pit only operation.

Reserve metal price assumptions for 2023 were $17/oz silver, $1,650/oz gold, $1.15/lb zinc, and $0.90/lb lead, unchanged from 2022 except for gold, which was $1600/oz in the prior year.

Measured and indicated silver ounces are unchanged with increases at Greens Creek and Keno Hill which offset the decrease at Lucky Friday due to conversion to reserves. Measured and indicated gold ounces also increased 21% to 4.4 million ounces. Losses as a result of the current plan to only mine surface material at Casa Berardi were offset by additions from the acquisition of ATAC Resources Ltd. (ATAC) at the Osiris and Tiger projects in the Yukon.

Inferred silver resources decreased less than 1% to 504 million ounces with decreases at Greens Creek and Lucky Friday almost offset by additions at Keno Hill. Inferred gold resources increased 11% to 6.3 million ounces with decreases at Casa Berardi offset by the addition of the ATAC projects in the Yukon.

Resource metal price assumptions for 2023 were $21/oz silver, $1750/oz gold, $1.35/lb zinc and $1.15/lb lead, and $3.00/lb copper, unchanged from 2022 except for gold, which was $1700/oz in the prior year.

A breakdown of the Company’s reserves and resources is set out in Table A at the end of this news release.


Keno Hill, Yukon Territory

At Keno Hill, the underground definition and surface exploration drilling programs continued to be focused on extending mineralization, resource conversion in the high-grade Bermingham Bear Zone Veins (Bear, Footwall, and Main Vein Zones), and discovering and defining new mineral resources. During the fourth quarter, two underground drills completed over 12,800 feet of definition and geotechnical drilling, and two surface core drills completed over 14,400 feet of exploration drilling targeting the Deep Bermingham, Bermingham Townsite, Inca, and Coral Wigwam target areas (Figure 1).

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