Hecla mining stated in its latest report record gold reserves of 2.3 million ounces, an increase of 12%.
Greens Creek increased gold reserves 8% and zinc 7% with silver and lead slightly up. Casa Berardi surface drilling increased reserves almost 250,000 ounces from two new proposed pits, part of a 14% increase in reserves. San Sebastians gold reserves increased 17% while maintaining silver reserves of more than 5 million ounces. Maintained the same price assumptions for reserves as 2016: silver $14.50, gold $1200, zinc $1.05, and lead $.90.
Exploration in 2018 is projected to be between $30 and $37 million, up from $23.5 million in 2017, reflecting the continued growth in targets at Heclas properties. “It is a remarkable achievement for a 127-year-old company to have record reserves for three of the four metals it produces, particularly using price assumptions significantly below spot and among the lowest in the industry. It speaks to the quality of our properties and the expertise of our people.
Hecla maintained the same reserve and resource price assumptions as the prior year, and in the case of silver, has had the same reserve per ounce price assumption since 2015, $14.50. The reserve assumption for gold is $1200. Zinc and lead reserve price assumptions continue to be $1.05 and $.90.
Hecla replaced all silver mine production in 2017 (15.2 million silver ounces contained) and increased reserves by 3%. Gold production was also replaced (282,414 gold ounces contained) as reserves increased by 13%. Both zinc and lead production were replaced and reserves increased by 15% and 8%, respectively.
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