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Hecla's Q3'17 silver output dips 23%, gold production up 21% YOY

Hecla Mining Co. on Oct. 12 released its preliminary production results for the third quarter, unveiling a 23% year-on-year fall in silver production to 3.3 million ounces and a 21% increase in gold output to 63,046 ounces.

Both lead and zinc production tumbled during the period, with lead dropping 48% to 5,368 tonnes and zinc decreasing 2% to 14,498 tonnes.

The miner noted that silver equivalent production totaling 11.1 million ounces resulted in the highest equivalent production quarter of the year.

Hecla's Lucky Friday silver mine in Idaho produced 88,298 ounces of silver in the quarter, a 90% plunge from the 887,365 ounces produced the year before. A unionized workers' strike kicked off at Lucky Friday in mid-March, with limited production being carried out by supervisory staff.

The Casa Berardi gold mine in Quebec, meanwhile, hit a record with production of 44,141 ounces during the September quarter and set a monthly throughput record of 3,913 tonnes per day in September.

Hecla President and CEO Phillips Baker Jr. said the company is on track to reach its production guidance and improve per-ounce costs for the year.