COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Hecla Mining Company (NYSE:HL) today announced that it has entered into a toll milling agreement (“the agreement”) with Excellon Resources Inc. (“Excellon”) (TSX:EXN) in which sulphide ore from San Sebastian would be trucked 26 miles to Excellon’s Miguel Auza flotation mill facility, in Zacatecas, Mexico, for processing.
Under the terms of the agreement, Excellon will provide 440 tons per day of milling capacity to Hecla and, in due course, the mill will be upgraded to include a copper flotation circuit.
“This is a significant step towards extending the life of the San Sebastian mine, and is in keeping with our strategy of maximizing the cash flow and minimizing capital investment by using third-party facilities,” said Phillips S. Baker, Jr., Hecla’s President and CEO. “We will take a bulk sample in the third quarter and if it is positive could begin mining sulphide ore next year. San Sebastian sulphides have the potential for five years of mine life and considerable upside with the recent exploration discoveries. We hope to mine oxides and sulphides concurrently since this agreement does not impact the current arrangement where oxide ore from shallower depths of the mine is being processed at the third-party owned Velardeña mill.”
The five-year agreement is subject to due diligence, the successful processing of a 4,400-ton bulk sample of sulphide ore from the polymetallic Hugh Zone this summer, and receipt of any regulatory approvals and third-party consents. Hecla has an option to extend the agreement for an additional two years.
Founded in 1891, Hecla Mining Company (NYSE:HL) is a leading low-cost U.S. silver producer with operating mines in Alaska, Idaho and Mexico, and is a growing gold producer with an operating mine in Quebec, Canada. The Company also has exploration and pre-development properties in seven world-class silver and gold mining districts in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, and an exploration office and investments in early-stage silver exploration projects in Canada.
Cautionary Statements Regarding Forward Looking Statements
Statements made or information provided in this news release that are not historical facts are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and "forward-looking information" within the meaning of Canadian securities laws. Words such as “may”, “will”, “should”, “expects”, “intends”, “projects”, “believes”, “estimates”, “targets”, “anticipates” and similar expressions are used to identify these forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements or forward-looking information include statements or information regarding the success of the bulk sample program of San Sebastian sulphide ore and the ability to begin mining sulphide ore in 2019. The material factors or assumptions used to develop such forward-looking statements or forward-looking information include that the Company’s plans for development and production will proceed as expected and will not require revision as a result of risks or uncertainties, whether known, unknown or unanticipated, to which the Company’s operations are subject.
Forward-looking statements involve a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected, anticipated, expected or implied. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, metals price volatility, volatility of metals production and costs, litigation, regulatory and environmental risks, operating risks, project development risks, political risks, labor issues, ability to raise financing and exploration risks and results. Refer to the Company's Form 10K and 10-Q reports for a more detailed discussion of factors that may impact expected future results. The Company undertakes no obligation and has no intention of updating forward-looking statements other than as may be required by law.