Petersburg Pilot -


Greens Creek silver production increases


JUNEAU (AP) — Production of silver increased at Greens Creek Mine during the first quarter of 2013, mine owners said.

Hecla Mining Co. said Friday the mine on Admiralty Island produced 1.8 million ounces, up from 1.3 million ounces in the first quarter of 2012.

The mine saw a 20 percent increase in overall tonnage and a 15 percent increase in production of higher-grade silver, the company said. A delayed shipment in April meant about $12 million in gross profits for the mine will be shifted to second quarter figures.

The Juneau Empire reports the cash cost of silver increased from $2.24 per ounce in the first quarter last year to $5.02 per ounce in the first quarter of this year.

However, Hecla officials said they were pleased with the first quarter numbers. Mike Westerlund, vice president of investor relations, said Greens Creek is a “fantastic asset.”

“It's a very good long term, high value mine,” Westerlund said. “It's been a very good mine.”

Overall production at Greens Creek has been good, Westerlund said. He called the mine “a steady, solid producer.”

“It's one of the lowest cost silver mines in the world,” he said. “Also one of the highest grade silver mines in the world.”

Hecla announced first-quarter production on the first Alaska Mining Day. The Alaska Legislature created the designation this year.


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