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Hecla Mining boosts zinc reserves 8%, lead rises 5%

Pittsburgh — Hecla Mining increased its zinc reserves and lead reserves across its various operations in 2019 by 8% and 5%, respectively, from 2018 estimates, representing the highest reserves for these metals in its history, the company said Wednesday.

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Hecla's updated 2019 proven and probable reserves included 1 million mt of zinc and 810,930 mt of lead, according to a statement the company issued.

The Idaho-based miner reported the biggest reserve increases at its Greens Creek mine in Alaska, where zinc reserves rose 10% to 778,410 mt and lead reserves were jumped 16% to 305,190 mt. The mine produced 62,863 mt of zinc and 24,704 mt of lead in 2019.

Hecla's second-highest zinc and lead output came from its Lucky Friday mine in Idaho. Lucky Friday produced 4,487 mt of lead and 2,426 mt of zinc in 2019.

Proven and probable reserves for the metals at the site remained steady year on year at 505,740 mt of lead and 223,520 mt of zinc.

Hecla's said its company-wide silver reserves increased the most, rising 11% to 212,151 oz. This includes silver reserves of 130,897 oz at Greens Creek.