Hecla Mining’s silver reserves hit second highest level in company history

US-based silver producer Hecla Mining has revealed its proven and probable reserves of the precious metal grew in 2021 to the second highest level in the company’s 130 year history.

Hecla said that exploration at the Greens Creek mine in Southeast Alaska helped the company reach 200 million ounces (Moz) in reserves last year. And during 2020, Hecla not only replaced silver production (15.2 million silver ounces contained), but also increased proven and probable reserves by 6%, or 11.5 Moz.

The company’s three operating mines — Greens Creek, Lucky Friday (Idaho) and Casa Berardi (Quebec) — now host a combined 37.3 million tonnes of reserves containing 200 Moz of silver, 2.73 Moz of gold, 1.81 billion pounds of zinc, and 1.47 billion pounds of lead.

“Since 2008, Hecla has, through exploration, added 239 million silver ounces in reserves, replacing production while also growing resources,” president and chief executive Phillips Baker said. “We see further growth in reserves, resources, and production,” he added.

Hecla, the largest silver producer in the US, is seeing demand for the industrial metal rise from sectors aligned with the global clean energy transition. Data published by the Silver Institute shows that global silver demand for industrial use will jump 5% this year to a new high of 552 million ounces.