Exploration

Hecla’s exploration projects ensure our portfolio anticipates market shifts while meeting America’s critical mineral needs.

San Juan Silver

Creede, Colorado

The San Juan Silver project is a 21-square-mile land package covering one of Colorado’s most prolific silver districts. Historically, the epithermal veins of the Creede Mining District have produced over 84 million ounces of silver from underground vein mining – the type of mining in which Hecla has specific expertise. The project represents the first time that the resources and geologic potential of this district have been under the control of a single owner/operator. Standing on the shoulders of Hecla’s 13-year tenure in the district, all permits for exploration and pre-development activities are current, and Hecla’s sustained commitment to environmental and community stewardship is visible in our collaborative relationship with a spectrum of stakeholders. As the largest primary silver producer in the U.S., Hecla recognizes the significant opportunity that the existing resources, and the projects’ large, prospective land package could provide as a future domestic supply of metals.

A map of San Juan Silver.

Exploration

The Bulldog Mine is a center of gravity for the San Juan Silver project. Historically, the mine produced 25 million ounces of silver between 1969 and 1985, and Hecla has further identified an existing Inferred Resource of 37 Moz. of silver, 51,750 tons of lead, and 40,800 tons of zinc, exclusive of in-mine and near-mine exploration upside. Since 2011, Hecla has taken strategic steps towards accessing the Bulldog Mine underground infrastructure to confirm, upgrade, and potentially expand these significant resources. Hecla’s extensive property position covers approximately 30 miles of permissive strike length along known mineralized structures offering Hecla the opportunity for impactful discoveries. Surface exploration drilling in 2013 intersected high-grade mineralization on-trend and 1,400 feet north of the nearest Bulldog Mine workings, reinforcing the potential to bring new resources into the projects’ inventory.

Future Plans

In 2022, an exploration program is planned to be reinitiated in the Creede District with field work and surface drilling programs. Drilling will focus on surface drilling of the North Bulldog target testing previous narrow high-grade mineralization deeper in the more favorable volcanic sequence which was historically the best host to mineralization. Hecla also plans to initiate underground access and rehabilitation of the main level in the Bulldog mine to eventually provide platforms for underground drilling of the prospective veins.

Resources

Information with respect to measured, indicated, and inferred resources is set forth below.

Mineral Resources
(As of December 31, 2021 unless otherwise noted)
Tons(000)Silver(oz/ton)Gold(oz/ton)Lead(%)Zinc(%)Silver(000 oz)Gold(000 oz)Lead(Tons)Zinc(Tons)

Measured Resources (1)

Indicated Resources (1)

516

14.8

2.1

1.1

7,620

10,760

5,820

M&I Resources (1)

516

14.8

2.1

1.1

7,620

10,760

5,820

Inferred Resources (1)

3,594

11.3

0.01

1.4

1.1

40,716

36

51,750

40,800

Note: All estimates are in-situ. Resources are exclusive of reserves. Totals may not represent the sum of parts due to rounding.

(1) Indicated resources reported at a minimum mining width of 6.0 feet for Bulldog; resources based on $26.5 Ag, $0.85 Pb, and $0.85 Zn and a cut-off grade of 6.0 silver equivalent oz/ton.

(2) Inferred resources reported at a minimum mining width of 6.0 feet for Bulldog and a cut-off grade of 6.0 equivalent oz/ton silver and 5.0 feet for Equity and North Amethyst vein at a cut-off grade of $50/ton and $100/ton; based on $1400 Au, $26.5 Ag, $0.85 Pb, and $0.85 Zn.

Metallurgical recoveries based on grade dependent recovery curves: recoveries at the mean resource grade average 88% silver and 74% lead for the Bulldog and a constant 85% gold and 85% silver for North Amethyst and Equity.

Reporting requirements in the United States for disclosure of mineral properties as of December 31, 2020 and earlier are governed by the SEC’s Securities Act Industry Guide 7, entitled “Description of Property by Issuers Engaged or to be Engaged in Significant Mining Operations” (Guide 7). Effective January 1, 2021, the SEC has issued new rules rescinding Guide 7. Mining companies are not required to comply with the new rules until the first fiscal year beginning on or after January 1, 2021. Thus, the Company will be required to comply with the new rules when filing its Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2021. The Company is also a “reporting issuer” under Canadian securities laws, which require estimates of mineral resources and reserves to be prepared in accordance with Canadian National Instrument 43-101 (NI 43-101). NI 43-101 requires all disclosure of estimates of potential mineral resources and reserves to be disclosed in accordance with its requirements. Such Canadian information is included herein to satisfy the Company’s “public disclosure” obligations under Regulation FD of the SEC and to provide U.S. holders with ready access to information publicly available in Canada.

Metallurgical recoveries based on grade dependent recovery curves: recoveries at the mean resource grade average 88% silver and 74% lead for the Bulldog and a constant 85% gold and 85% silver for North Amethyst and Equity.

Reporting requirements in the United States for disclosure of mineral properties as of December 31, 2020 and earlier are governed by the SEC’s Securities Act Industry Guide 7, entitled “Description of Property by Issuers Engaged or to be Engaged in Significant Mining Operations” (Guide 7). Effective January 1, 2021, the SEC has issued new rules rescinding Guide 7. Mining companies are not required to comply with the new rules until the first fiscal year beginning on or after January 1, 2021. Thus, the Company will be required to comply with the new rules when filing its Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2021. The Company is also a “reporting issuer” under Canadian securities laws, which require estimates of mineral resources and reserves to be prepared in accordance with Canadian National Instrument 43-101 (NI 43-101). NI 43-101 requires all disclosure of estimates of potential mineral resources and reserves to be disclosed in accordance with its requirements. Such Canadian information is included herein to satisfy the Company’s “public disclosure” obligations under Regulation FD of the SEC and to provide U.S. holders with ready access to information publicly available in Canada.

Reporting requirements in the United States for disclosure of mineral properties under Guide 7 compared to the new SEC rules (Item 1300 of Regulation S-K under the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934) and the requirements in Canada under NI 43-101 standards are substantially different. This document contains a summary of certain estimates of the Company, not only of Proven and Probable reserves within the meaning of Guide 7, but also of mineral resource and mineral reserve estimates estimated in accordance with the new SEC rules and definitional standards of the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum referred to in NI 43-101. Under Guide 7, the term “reserve” means that part of a mineral deposit that can be economically and legally extracted or produced at the time of the reserve determination. The term “economically”, as used in the definition of reserve, means that profitable extraction or production has been established or analytically demonstrated to be viable and justifiable under reasonable investment and market assumptions. The term “legally”, as used in the definition of reserve, does not imply that all permits needed for mining and processing have been obtained or that other legal issues have been completely resolved. However, for a reserve to exist, Hecla must have a justifiable expectation, based on applicable laws and regulations, that issuance of permits or resolution of legal issues necessary for mining and processing at a particular deposit will be accomplished in the ordinary course and in a timeframe consistent with Hecla’s current mine plans. The terms “Measured resources”, “Indicated resources,” and “Inferred resources” are mining terms as defined in accordance with the new SEC rules and NI 43-101. These terms are not defined under Guide 7 and prior to January 1, 2021, were not normally permitted to be used in reports and registration statements filed with the SEC in the United States, except where required to be disclosed by foreign law. The term “resource” does not equate to the term “reserve”. Under Guide 7, the material described herein as “Indicated resources” and “Measured resources” would be characterized as “mineralized material” and is permitted to be disclosed in tonnage and grade only, not ounces. The category of “inferred resources” is not recognized by Guide 7. Investors are cautioned not to assume that any part or all of the mineral deposits in such categories will ever be converted into Proven or Probable reserves. “Resources” have a great amount of uncertainty as to their existence, and great uncertainty as to their economic and legal feasibility. It cannot be assumed that all or any part of such a “resource” will ever be upgraded to a higher category or will ever be economically extracted. Investors are cautioned not to assume that all or any part of a “resource” exists or is economically or legally mineable. Investors are also especially cautioned that the mere fact that such resources may be referred to in ounces of silver and/or gold, rather than in tons of mineralization and grades of silver and/or gold estimated per ton, is not an indication that such material will ever result in mined ore which is processed into commercial silver or gold.

Reporting requirements in the United States for disclosure of mineral properties under Guide 7 compared to the new SEC rules (Item 1300 of Regulation S-K under the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934) and the requirements in Canada under NI 43-101 standards are substantially different. This document contains a summary of certain estimates of the Company, not only of Proven and Probable reserves within the meaning of Guide 7, but also of mineral resource and mineral reserve estimates estimated in accordance with the new SEC rules and definitional standards of the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum referred to in NI 43-101.  Under Guide 7, the term “reserve” means that part of a mineral deposit that can be economically and legally extracted or produced at the time of the reserve determination. The term “economically”, as used in the definition of reserve, means that profitable extraction or production has been established or analytically demonstrated to be viable and justifiable under reasonable investment and market assumptions. The term “legally”, as used in the definition of reserve, does not imply that all permits needed for mining and processing have been obtained or that other legal issues have been completely resolved. However, for a reserve to exist, Hecla must have a justifiable expectation, based on applicable laws and regulations, that issuance of permits or resolution of legal issues necessary for mining and processing at a particular deposit will be accomplished in the ordinary course and in a timeframe consistent with Hecla’s current mine plans.  The terms “Measured resources”, “Indicated resources,” and “Inferred resources” are mining terms as defined in accordance with the new SEC rules and NI 43-101. These terms are not defined under Guide 7 and prior to January 1, 2021, were not normally permitted to be used in reports and registration statements filed with the SEC in the United States, except where required to be disclosed by foreign law. The term “resource” does not equate to the term “reserve”. Under Guide 7, the material described herein as “Indicated resources” and “Measured resources” would be characterized as “mineralized material” and is permitted to be disclosed in tonnage and grade only, not ounces.  The category of “inferred resources” is not recognized by Guide 7.   Investors are cautioned not to assume that any part or all of the mineral deposits in such categories will ever be converted into Proven or Probable reserves. “Resources” have a great amount of uncertainty as to their existence, and great uncertainty as to their economic and legal feasibility. It cannot be assumed that all or any part of such a “resource” will ever be upgraded to a higher category or will ever be economically extracted. Investors are cautioned not to assume that all or any part of a “resource” exists or is economically or legally mineable. Investors are also especially cautioned that the mere fact that such resources may be referred to in ounces of silver and/or gold, rather than in tons of mineralization and grades of silver and/or gold estimated per ton, is not an indication that such material will ever result in mined ore which is processed into commercial silver or gold.

Nevada

USA

Silver Valley/Star

Wallace, Idaho

The Coeur d’Alene Mining District, where Hecla was born in 1891, is located in North Idaho’s Silver Valley along Interstate 90. This district has produced more than 1.2 billion ounces of silver in its history, one of the most prolific silver districts in the world. Hecla’s Silver Valley/Star position consists of about 27-square miles, an area roughly the size of Manhattan. In aggregate, the historic mines in this position have produced more than 340 million ounces of silver, or about 25% of the entire historic production of the Silver Valley.

A map of Silver Valley

Resources

Information with respect to measured, indicated, and inferred resources is set forth below.

Mineral Resources
(As of December 31, 2021 unless otherwise noted)
Tons(000)Silver(oz/ton)Gold(oz/ton)Lead(%)Zinc(%)Silver(000 oz)Gold(000 oz)Lead(Tons)Zinc(Tons)

Measured Resources (1)

Indicated Resources (1)

1,126

2.9

6.2

7.4

3,301

69,900

83,410

M&I Resources (1)

1,126

2.9

6.2

7.4

3,301

69,900

83,410

Inferred Resources (1)

3,157

2.9

5.6

5.5

9,432

178,670

174,450

Note: All estimates are in-situ. Resources are exclusive of reserves. Totals may not represent the sum of parts due to rounding.

(1) Indicated and Inferred resources at the Star property are reported using $21 silver, $0.95 lead, $1.10 zinc, a minimum mining width of 4.3 feet and a cut-off grade of $100/ton; Metallurgical recovery: 93.38% silver, 93.33% lead, 86.96% zinc.

Reporting requirements in the United States for disclosure of mineral properties as of December 31, 2020 and earlier are governed by the SEC’s Securities Act Industry Guide 7, entitled “Description of Property by Issuers Engaged or to be Engaged in Significant Mining Operations” (Guide 7). Effective January 1, 2021, the SEC has issued new rules rescinding Guide 7. Mining companies are not required to comply with the new rules until the first fiscal year beginning on or after January 1, 2021. Thus, the Company will be required to comply with the new rules when filing its Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2021. The Company is also a “reporting issuer” under Canadian securities laws, which require estimates of mineral resources and reserves to be prepared in accordance with Canadian National Instrument 43-101 (NI 43-101). NI 43-101 requires all disclosure of estimates of potential mineral resources and reserves to be disclosed in accordance with its requirements. Such Canadian information is included herein to satisfy the Company’s “public disclosure” obligations under Regulation FD of the SEC and to provide U.S. holders with ready access to information publicly available in Canada.

Reporting requirements in the United States for disclosure of mineral properties under Guide 7 compared to the new SEC rules (Item 1300 of Regulation S-K under the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934) and the requirements in Canada under NI 43-101 standards are substantially different. This document contains a summary of certain estimates of the Company, not only of Proven and Probable reserves within the meaning of Guide 7, but also of mineral resource and mineral reserve estimates estimated in accordance with the new SEC rules and definitional standards of the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum referred to in NI 43-101. Under Guide 7, the term “reserve” means that part of a mineral deposit that can be economically and legally extracted or produced at the time of the reserve determination. The term “economically”, as used in the definition of reserve, means that profitable extraction or production has been established or analytically demonstrated to be viable and justifiable under reasonable investment and market assumptions. The term “legally”, as used in the definition of reserve, does not imply that all permits needed for mining and processing have been obtained or that other legal issues have been completely resolved. However, for a reserve to exist, Hecla must have a justifiable expectation, based on applicable laws and regulations, that issuance of permits or resolution of legal issues necessary for mining and processing at a particular deposit will be accomplished in the ordinary course and in a timeframe consistent with Hecla’s current mine plans. The terms “Measured resources”, “Indicated resources,” and “Inferred resources” are mining terms as defined in accordance with the new SEC rules and NI 43-101. These terms are not defined under Guide 7 and prior to January 1, 2021, were not normally permitted to be used in reports and registration statements filed with the SEC in the United States, except where required to be disclosed by foreign law. The term “resource” does not equate to the term “reserve”. Under Guide 7, the material described herein as “Indicated resources” and “Measured resources” would be characterized as “mineralized material” and is permitted to be disclosed in tonnage and grade only, not ounces. The category of “inferred resources” is not recognized by Guide 7. Investors are cautioned not to assume that any part or all of the mineral deposits in such categories will ever be converted into Proven or Probable reserves. “Resources” have a great amount of uncertainty as to their existence, and great uncertainty as to their economic and legal feasibility. It cannot be assumed that all or any part of such a “resource” will ever be upgraded to a higher category or will ever be economically extracted. Investors are cautioned not to assume that all or any part of a “resource” exists or is economically or legally mineable. Investors are also especially cautioned that the mere fact that such resources may be referred to in ounces of silver and/or gold, rather than in tons of mineralization and grades of silver and/or gold estimated per ton, is not an indication that such material will ever result in mined ore which is processed into commercial silver or gold.

Washington, USA

Republic, Washington

The Republic Mining District, located immediately north of the town of Republic, approximately 125 miles north-northwest of Spokane, Washington in Ferry County, holds the title as the largest historic gold producer in the State of Washington. Hecla controls 3,406 acres of surface and mineral interests over the most productive and most prospective ground in the Republic District, covering the major structural trends of the district including top producing mines such as Knob Hill, Surprise, Lone Pine-Last Chance, Tom Thumb, and the Golden Promise. Recent exploration has supported the potential for new discoveries setting the stage for the next generation of organic growth in the Republic District.

A map of the Republic of Washington

Exploration

Hecla’s exploration efforts since 2011 have confirmed the potential for additional high-grade underground and surface bulk-tonnage discoveries in the district. With significant portions of prospective terrain hidden by post-mineral cover, and the legacy discovery of the Golden Promise deposit as proof of concept, Hecla considers the exploration search-space to be much larger, and more robust, than history might suggest. With modern exploration tools, a robust historical dataset and abundant targets, Hecla is taking a fresh look at this storied district.

Future Plans

Hecla has made the first steps towards a new era of exploration in Republic with continued integration of historical data, updating our 3D genetic model of the district, completing a large soil sample program over a highly ranked target area, and re-evaluating exploration strategies to bring our most prospective targets to a drill ready status.

In 2022, an exploration program is planned to be reinitiated in the Republic District with field work and surface drilling programs.

Kinskuch

Alice Arm, British Columbia

Kinskuch consists of 156 mining claims totaling 59,400 hectares. There are no NSRs or NPIs carried on the property. The Kinskuch property is favorably located within the Iskut-Stewart-Kitsault Belt north of the tidewater communities of Alice Arm and Kitsault with access to the western part of the property on a historic roadbed. Prospecting in the vicinity began as early as 1889. The property hosts potential for the discovery of epithermal silver-gold, gold-rich porphyry, and volcanogenic massive sulfide (VMS) deposits.

A map of Kinskuch.

Heva-Hosco

Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec

The advanced stage Heva-Hosco exploration property is located in the Joannes Township, 20 km (12.4 miles) east of Rouyn-Noranda. The property is up to 3 km wide (1.8 miles) and extends east-west for more than 8 km (5 miles) along the Cadillac-Larder Lake break (fault). The property is located in the Abitibi region near several world class gold mines as Laronde gold massive sulfide deposits and Canadian Malartic open pit and underground gold mines. The project comprises 102 mining claims covering 3,847 hectares (14.8 sq. miles). The property hosts two distinct gold deposits, the free-milling (gold, pyrrhotite, pyrite) mineralization at the Heva deposit, and the refractory (gold, arsenopyrite, pyrrhotite, pyrite) mineralization at the Hosco deposit.

The mining district along the Cadillac-Larder Lake break in the Abitibi region has high potential for new discoveries. Past exploration drilling only covers approximately one thousand feet down plunge of the break, leaving the depth of extension of known mineralization open at depth along the strike.

Since 2014 significant high-grade zones have been identified. Future exploration will target these mineralized zones at depth to upgrade the project by increasing the value of the free milling resources at Heva and Hosco North lens.

A map of Heva Hosco.

Resources

Information with respect to measured, indicated, and inferred resources is set forth below.

Mineral Resources
(As of December 31, 2021 unless otherwise noted)

Heva

Tons(000)Silver (oz/ton)Gold(oz/ton)Lead(%)Zinc(%)Silver(000 oz)Gold(000 oz)Lead(Tons)Zinc(Tons)

Measured Resources (1)

Indicated Resources (1)

1,266

0.06

76

M&I Resources (1)

1,266

0.06

76

Inferred Resources (1)

2,787

0.08

216

Hosco

Tons(000)Silver (oz/ton)Gold(oz/ton)Lead(%)Zinc(%)Silver(000 oz)Gold(000 oz)Lead(Tons)Zinc(Tons)

Measured Resources (1)

Indicated Resources (1)

29,287

0.04

1,201

M&I Resources (1)

29,287

0.04

1,201

Inferred Resources (1)

17,726

0.04

663

Note: All estimates are in-situ. Resources are exclusive of reserves. Totals may not represent the sum of parts due to rounding.

(1) Measured, indicated and inferred resources at Heva and Hosco are based on $1,500/oz gold. Resources are without dilution or material loss at a gold cut-off grade of 0.01 oz/ton (0.33 g/tonne) for open pit and 0.088 oz/ton (3.0 g/tonne) for underground.

Metallurgical recovery: Heva: 95% gold, Hosco: 87.7% gold.

Reporting requirements in the United States for disclosure of mineral properties as of December 31, 2020 and earlier are governed by the SEC’s Securities Act Industry Guide 7, entitled “Description of Property by Issuers Engaged or to be Engaged in Significant Mining Operations” (Guide 7). Effective January 1, 2021, the SEC has issued new rules rescinding Guide 7. Mining companies are not required to comply with the new rules until the first fiscal year beginning on or after January 1, 2021. Thus, the Company will be required to comply with the new rules when filing its Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2021. The Company is also a “reporting issuer” under Canadian securities laws, which require estimates of mineral resources and reserves to be prepared in accordance with Canadian National Instrument 43-101 (NI 43-101). NI 43-101 requires all disclosure of estimates of potential mineral resources and reserves to be disclosed in accordance with its requirements. Such Canadian information is included herein to satisfy the Company’s “public disclosure” obligations under Regulation FD of the SEC and to provide U.S. holders with ready access to information publicly available in Canada.

Reporting requirements in the United States for disclosure of mineral properties under Guide 7 compared to the new SEC rules (Item 1300 of Regulation S-K under the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934) and the requirements in Canada under NI 43-101 standards are substantially different. This document contains a summary of certain estimates of the Company, not only of Proven and Probable reserves within the meaning of Guide 7, but also of mineral resource and mineral reserve estimates estimated in accordance with the new SEC rules and definitional standards of the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum referred to in NI 43-101. Under Guide 7, the term “reserve” means that part of a mineral deposit that can be economically and legally extracted or produced at the time of the reserve determination. The term “economically”, as used in the definition of reserve, means that profitable extraction or production has been established or analytically demonstrated to be viable and justifiable under reasonable investment and market assumptions. The term “legally”, as used in the definition of reserve, does not imply that all permits needed for mining and processing have been obtained or that other legal issues have been completely resolved. However, for a reserve to exist, Hecla must have a justifiable expectation, based on applicable laws and regulations, that issuance of permits or resolution of legal issues necessary for mining and processing at a particular deposit will be accomplished in the ordinary course and in a timeframe consistent with Hecla’s current mine plans. The terms “Measured resources”, “Indicated resources,” and “Inferred resources” are mining terms as defined in accordance with the new SEC rules and NI 43-101. These terms are not defined under Guide 7 and prior to January 1, 2021, were not normally permitted to be used in reports and registration statements filed with the SEC in the United States, except where required to be disclosed by foreign law. The term “resource” does not equate to the term “reserve”. Under Guide 7, the material described herein as “Indicated resources” and “Measured resources” would be characterized as “mineralized material” and is permitted to be disclosed in tonnage and grade only, not ounces. The category of “inferred resources” is not recognized by Guide 7. Investors are cautioned not to assume that any part or all of the mineral deposits in such categories will ever be converted into Proven or Probable reserves. “Resources” have a great amount of uncertainty as to their existence, and great uncertainty as to their economic and legal feasibility. It cannot be assumed that all or any part of such a “resource” will ever be upgraded to a higher category or will ever be economically extracted. Investors are cautioned not to assume that all or any part of a “resource” exists or is economically or legally mineable. Investors are also especially cautioned that the mere fact that such resources may be referred to in ounces of silver and/or gold, rather than in tons of mineralization and grades of silver and/or gold estimated per ton, is not an indication that such material will ever result in mined ore which is processed into commercial silver or gold.

Opinaca/Wildcat

James Bay, Quebec

The Opinaca-Wildcat project is located 320km (199 miles) north of the city of Matagami, in the James Bay territory. The project consists of two properties: the Opinaca property and Wildcat property. Together these two properties comprise 565 claims covering an area of 29,547 hectares (114.1 sq. miles) near Goldcorp’s Eleonore Mine property, a world-class lode gold type deposit that contains over 9 Moz. at 0.18 oz/ton gold. Both the Opinaca and Wildcat properties cover a highly prospective area and straddle the contact between the Opinaca and La Grande subprovinces, which is the regional gold metallotect in the James Bay area.

Several different styles of gold mineralization have been defined on the Opinaca and Wildcat properties. The main styles of gold mineralization are: Pyrrhotite dissemination within calc-silicate alteration zones, Arsenopyrite and tourmaline-bearing strain zones, Garnet-pyrrhotite-rich bands, Pyrrhotite and pyrite dissemination in silicified bands and Arsenopyrite and native bismuth dissemination in tourmaline-garnet-rich pegmatitic intrusions.

Future exploration is planned, consisting of prospecting and trenching the known gold favorable structure and continuing to compile geological data as lithogeochemistry, geophysic and structure to increase the knowledge of the geology for future discoveries.

A map of Opinaca/Wildcat

San Sebastian

Durango, Mexico

San Sebastian is a silver and gold project located in Durango State Mexico, in the middle of the prolific Mexican Silver Belt. Mining of high-grade ore was conducted from 1995 to 2001 and again from 2015 to 2020. During the time of production, San Sebastian was one of the highest-grade silver producers in Mexico. The district remains highly prospective, and while pit reclamation activities are advanced, exploration activities remain active. Hecla’s concession holdings at San Sebastian cover approximately 42,000 hectares (162 square miles). Within this land position is the Francine Vein, Hugh Zone, Middle Vein, El Toro and Don Sergio-Andrea vein systems and several other underexplored target areas.

A map of San Sebastian

Exploration

In 2021, exploration at San Sebastian included deeper drill testing in both the El Bronco and El Toro vein systems in addition to drill testing of four Short Vertical Reverse Circulation (SVRC) anomalies and geologic studies. Assay results from the deeper drilling confirm vein continuity at depth at both El Bronco and El Tigre and intersected a new hanging wall vein at El Tigre.

In 2022, San Sebastian represents 8% of the $45 million planned exploration spend, focusing on evaluating both near surface and deeper precious metal mineralization. Core drilling is planned to target deeper mineralization in the Middle, North, Francine, El Toro, El Tigre, and El Bronco vein systems. Core drilling will also target deeper high-grade mineralization in the La Roca district which represents a fully preserved epithermal system with strong acid sulfate alteration at the surface. In addition, a Short Vertical Reverse Circulation (SVRC) drilling program north of the San Sebastian Mine area and into the southern portion of the La Roca district will focus on defining new near-surface targets under cover.

Future Plans

The Company continues to explore this highly prospective land package and will evaluate further mining based on these exploration results.

Production

(year ended December 31)

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

Silver (ounces)

4,294,123

3,257,738

2,037,072

1,868,884

954,772

Gold (ounces)

34,042

25,177

14,979

15,673

7,223

(historical, years ended December 31)

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

Silver (ounces)

950,002

3,432,394

4,085,038

2,042,173

717,860

Gold (ounces)

15,983

41,510

47,21

35,563

12,160

Resources

Information with respect to Inferred Mineral Resources is set forth below.

Mineral Resources
(As of December 31, 2021 unless otherwise noted)

Oxide

Tons (000)Silver (oz/ton)Gold (oz/ton)Lead (%)Zinc (%)Copper (%)Silver (000 oz)Gold (000 oz)Lead (Tons)Zinc (Tons)Copper (Tons)

Measured Resources (1)

Indicated Resources (1)

1,435

6.5

0.09

9,430

135

M&I Resources (1)

1,435

6.5

0.09

9,430

135

Inferred Resources (1)

3,490

6.4

0.05

22,353

182

Sulfide

Measured Resources (1)

Indicated Resources (1)

1,187

5.5

0.01

1.9

2.9

1.2

6,579

16

22,420

34,100

14,650

M&I Resources (1)

1,187

5.5

0.01

1.9

2.9

1.2

6,579

16

22,420

34,100

14,650

Inferred Resources (1)

385

4.2

0.01

1.6

2.3

0.9

1,606

5

6,070

8,830

3,330

Note: All estimates are in-situ. Resources are exclusive of reserves. Totals may not represent the sum of parts due to rounding.

(1) Indicated resources for most zones at San Sebastian based on $1500/oz gold, $21/oz silver, $1.15/lb lead, $1.35/lb zinc and $3.00/lb copper using a cut-off grade of $90.72/ton ($100/tonne); $1700/oz gold used for Toro, Bronco, and Tigre zones. Metallurgical recoveries based on grade dependent recovery curves: recoveries at the mean resource grade average 89% silver and 84% gold for oxide material and 85% silver, 83% gold, 81% lead, 86% zinc, and 83% for copper for sulfide material. Resources reported at a minimum mining width of 8.2 feet (2.5m) for Middle Vein, North Vein, and East Francine, 6.5ft (1.98m) for El Toro, El Bronco, and El Tigre, and 4.9 feet (1.5 m) for Hugh Zone and Andrea.

Reporting requirements in the United States for disclosure of mineral properties as of December 31, 2020 and earlier are governed by the SEC’s Securities Act Industry Guide 7, entitled “Description of Property by Issuers Engaged or to be Engaged in Significant Mining Operations” (Guide 7). Effective January 1, 2021, the SEC has issued new rules rescinding Guide 7. Mining companies are not required to comply with the new rules until the first fiscal year beginning on or after January 1, 2021. Thus, the Company will be required to comply with the new rules when filing its Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2021. The Company is also a “reporting issuer” under Canadian securities laws, which require estimates of mineral resources and reserves to be prepared in accordance with Canadian National Instrument 43-101 (NI 43-101). NI 43-101 requires all disclosure of estimates of potential mineral resources and reserves to be disclosed in accordance with its requirements. Such Canadian information is included herein to satisfy the Company’s “public disclosure” obligations under Regulation FD of the SEC and to provide U.S. holders with ready access to information publicly available in Canada.

Reporting requirements in the United States for disclosure of mineral properties under Guide 7 compared to the new SEC rules (Item 1300 of Regulation S-K under the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934) and the requirements in Canada under NI 43-101 standards are substantially different. This document contains a summary of certain estimates of the Company, not only of Proven and Probable reserves within the meaning of Guide 7, but also of mineral resource and mineral reserve estimates estimated in accordance with the new SEC rules and definitional standards of the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum referred to in NI 43-101. Under Guide 7, the term “reserve” means that part of a mineral deposit that can be economically and legally extracted or produced at the time of the reserve determination. The term “economically”, as used in the definition of reserve, means that profitable extraction or production has been established or analytically demonstrated to be viable and justifiable under reasonable investment and market assumptions. The term “legally”, as used in the definition of reserve, does not imply that all permits needed for mining and processing have been obtained or that other legal issues have been completely resolved. However, for a reserve to exist, Hecla must have a justifiable expectation, based on applicable laws and regulations, that issuance of permits or resolution of legal issues necessary for mining and processing at a particular deposit will be accomplished in the ordinary course and in a timeframe consistent with Hecla’s current mine plans. The terms “Measured resources”, “Indicated resources,” and “Inferred resources” are mining terms as defined in accordance with the new SEC rules and NI 43-101. These terms are not defined under Guide 7 and prior to January 1, 2021, were not normally permitted to be used in reports and registration statements filed with the SEC in the United States, except where required to be disclosed by foreign law. The term “resource” does not equate to the term “reserve”. Under Guide 7, the material described herein as “Indicated resources” and “Measured resources” would be characterized as “mineralized material” and is permitted to be disclosed in tonnage and grade only, not ounces. The category of “inferred resources” is not recognized by Guide 7. Investors are cautioned not to assume that any part or all of the mineral deposits in such categories will ever be converted into Proven or Probable reserves. “Resources” have a great amount of uncertainty as to their existence, and great uncertainty as to their economic and legal feasibility. It cannot be assumed that all or any part of such a “resource” will ever be upgraded to a higher category or will ever be economically extracted. Investors are cautioned not to assume that all or any part of a “resource” exists or is economically or legally mineable. Investors are also especially cautioned that the mere fact that such resources may be referred to in ounces of silver and/or gold, rather than in tons of mineralization and grades of silver and/or gold estimated per ton, is not an indication that such material will ever result in mined ore which is processed into commercial silver or gold.

Rock Creek

Noxon, Montana

Hecla acquired the Rock Creek project in June 2015 with the acquisition of Revett Mining Company. The Rock Creek project is located approximately five miles northeast of Noxon, Sanders County, Montana (about 50 miles north of the Lucky Friday mine in Idaho).

Map of Rock Creek.

Exploration

The project as proposed will encompass approximately 481 acres and be developed in two phases: (1) the construction and development of the evaluation adit, approximately 20 acres, and (2) the development of the mine and construction of the mill facilities. The evaluation program will further define the technical and economic aspects of the project and result in a feasibility study. Presuming a positive feasibility study, and the receipt of the necessary construction permits, Hecla intends to develop Rock Creek as an underground room and pillar mine with conventional crushing and flotation processing.

Consistent with Hecla’s core values, protection of the environment and wildlife is paramount and the Rock Creek Grizzly Bear Mitigation plan will contribute to both the protection and recovery of the species.

Future Plans – Permitting

Hecla has withdrawn the Plan of Operations for Rock Creek from consideration by the United States Forest Service (USFS).  This plan was prepared by the project’s prior owner and does not have the data necessary for Hecla to formulate a modern mine plan.  The Company has submitted a new Plan of Operations for just the Montanore site that will be limited to geologic and environmental evaluation activities only.  If approved and subsequent data collection and analysis activities suggest development of a mine is feasible and economic, then a new Plan of Operations for construction and development at Montanore would be submitted to the USFS.  While no activities beyond care and maintenance are currently planned for Rock Creek, mineral and other property rights there will not be impacted.

The Revett acquisition also brought the Troy mine to Hecla, which was put on care-and-maintenance by Revett. In 2020, the Company completed reclamation on the 300-acre Troy Tailings Storage Facility (TSF). Hecla is returning the TSF to productive post-mining land uses and have partnered with local suppliers, contractors, and the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes to harvest seed for, cultivate, and plant over 200,000 shrubs and trees. A self-sustaining native forest community and wildlife habitat is already growing and coming to life. In early 2021, the State of Montana reduced the required financial assurance by nearly $8 million because Hecla Montana met or exceeded reclamation requirements for the TSF.

Resources

Information with respect to Inferred Mineral Resources is set forth below.

Mineral Resources
(As of December 31, 2021 unless otherwise noted)

Tons (000)

Silver (oz/ton)

Copper (%)

Silver (000 oz)

Copper (Tons)

Inferred Resources (1)

100,086
1.5
0.7
148,736
658,680

Note: All estimates are in-situ. Resources are exclusive of reserves. Totals may not represent the sum of parts due to rounding.

(1) Inferred resource at Rock Creek reported at a minimum thickness of 15 feet and a cut-off grade of $24.50/ton NSR; Metallurgical recoveries: 88% silver, 92% copper.

Resources adjusted based on mining restrictions as defined by U.S. Forest Service, Kootenai National Forest in the June 2003 ‘Record of Decision, Rock Creek Project’.

Reporting requirements in the United States for disclosure of mineral properties as of December 31, 2020 and earlier are governed by the SEC’s Securities Act Industry Guide 7, entitled “Description of Property by Issuers Engaged or to be Engaged in Significant Mining Operations” (Guide 7). Effective January 1, 2021, the SEC has issued new rules rescinding Guide 7. Mining companies are not required to comply with the new rules until the first fiscal year beginning on or after January 1, 2021. Thus, the Company will be required to comply with the new rules when filing its Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2021. The Company is also a “reporting issuer” under Canadian securities laws, which require estimates of mineral resources and reserves to be prepared in accordance with Canadian National Instrument 43-101 (NI 43-101). NI 43-101 requires all disclosure of estimates of potential mineral resources and reserves to be disclosed in accordance with its requirements. Such Canadian information is included herein to satisfy the Company’s “public disclosure” obligations under Regulation FD of the SEC and to provide U.S. holders with ready access to information publicly available in Canada.

Reporting requirements in the United States for disclosure of mineral properties under Guide 7 compared to the new SEC rules (Item 1300 of Regulation S-K under the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934) and the requirements in Canada under NI 43-101 standards are substantially different. This document contains a summary of certain estimates of the Company, not only of Proven and Probable reserves within the meaning of Guide 7, but also of mineral resource and mineral reserve estimates estimated in accordance with the new SEC rules and definitional standards of the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum referred to in NI 43-101. Under Guide 7, the term “reserve” means that part of a mineral deposit that can be economically and legally extracted or produced at the time of the reserve determination. The term “economically”, as used in the definition of reserve, means that profitable extraction or production has been established or analytically demonstrated to be viable and justifiable under reasonable investment and market assumptions. The term “legally”, as used in the definition of reserve, does not imply that all permits needed for mining and processing have been obtained or that other legal issues have been completely resolved. However, for a reserve to exist, Hecla must have a justifiable expectation, based on applicable laws and regulations, that issuance of permits or resolution of legal issues necessary for mining and processing at a particular deposit will be accomplished in the ordinary course and in a timeframe consistent with Hecla’s current mine plans. The terms “Measured resources”, “Indicated resources,” and “Inferred resources” are mining terms as defined in accordance with the new SEC rules and NI 43-101. These terms are not defined under Guide 7 and prior to January 1, 2021, were not normally permitted to be used in reports and registration statements filed with the SEC in the United States, except where required to be disclosed by foreign law. The term “resource” does not equate to the term “reserve”. Under Guide 7, the material described herein as “Indicated resources” and “Measured resources” would be characterized as “mineralized material” and is permitted to be disclosed in tonnage and grade only, not ounces. The category of “inferred resources” is not recognized by Guide 7. Investors are cautioned not to assume that any part or all of the mineral deposits in such categories will ever be converted into Proven or Probable reserves. “Resources” have a great amount of uncertainty as to their existence, and great uncertainty as to their economic and legal feasibility. It cannot be assumed that all or any part of such a “resource” will ever be upgraded to a higher category or will ever be economically extracted. Investors are cautioned not to assume that all or any part of a “resource” exists or is economically or legally mineable. Investors are also especially cautioned that the mere fact that such resources may be referred to in ounces of silver and/or gold, rather than in tons of mineralization and grades of silver and/or gold estimated per ton, is not an indication that such material will ever result in mined ore which is processed into commercial silver or gold.

Montanore

Libby, Montana

Hecla acquired the Montanore project in September 2016 with the acquisition of Mines Management Inc. The Montanore project is located approximately 23 miles south of Libby, Lincoln County, Montana (about 50 miles north of the Lucky Friday Mine in Idaho.

Geologically, the deposit is categorized as a stratabound sediment-hosted silver-copper deposit, and is one of three major deposits in the area, including the Troy Mine and Rock Creek deposit.

A graphic of Montanore Idaho.

Future Plans – Permitting

Hecla has withdrawn the Plan of Operations for Montanore from consideration by the United States Forest Service (USFS).  This plan was prepared by the project’s prior owner and does not have the data necessary for Hecla to formulate a modern mine plan.  The Company has submitted a new Plan of Operations for the Montanore site that will be limited to geologic and environmental evaluation activities only.  If approved and subsequent data collection and analysis activities suggest development of a mine is feasible and economic, then a new Plan of Operations for construction and development at Montanore would be submitted to the USFS.

Resources

Information with respect to Inferred Mineral Resources is set forth below.

Mineral Resources
(As of December 31, 2021 unless otherwise noted)

Tons (000)

Silver (oz/ton)

Copper (%)

Silver (000 oz)

Copper (Tons)

Inferred Resources (1)

112,185
1.6
0.7
183,346
759,420

Note: All estimates are in-situ. Resources are exclusive of reserves. Totals may not represent the sum of parts due to rounding.

(1) Inferred resource at Montanore reported at a minimum thickness of 15 feet and a cut-off grade of $24.50/ton NSR; Metallurgical recoveries: 88% silver, 92% copper.

Resources adjusted based on mining restrictions as defined by U.S. Forest Service, Kootenai National Forest, Montana DEQ in December 2015 ‘Joint Final EIS, Montanore Project’ and the February 2016 U.S Forest Service – Kootenai National Forest ‘Record of Decision, Montanore Project’.

Reporting requirements in the United States for disclosure of mineral properties as of December 31, 2020 and earlier are governed by the SEC’s Securities Act Industry Guide 7, entitled “Description of Property by Issuers Engaged or to be Engaged in Significant Mining Operations” (Guide 7). Effective January 1, 2021, the SEC has issued new rules rescinding Guide 7. Mining companies are not required to comply with the new rules until the first fiscal year beginning on or after January 1, 2021. Thus, the Company will be required to comply with the new rules when filing its Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2021. The Company is also a “reporting issuer” under Canadian securities laws, which require estimates of mineral resources and reserves to be prepared in accordance with Canadian National Instrument 43-101 (NI 43-101). NI 43-101 requires all disclosure of estimates of potential mineral resources and reserves to be disclosed in accordance with its requirements. Such Canadian information is included herein to satisfy the Company’s “public disclosure” obligations under Regulation FD of the SEC and to provide U.S. holders with ready access to information publicly available in Canada.

Reporting requirements in the United States for disclosure of mineral properties under Guide 7 compared to the new SEC rules (Item 1300 of Regulation S-K under the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934) and the requirements in Canada under NI 43-101 standards are substantially different. This document contains a summary of certain estimates of the Company, not only of Proven and Probable reserves within the meaning of Guide 7, but also of mineral resource and mineral reserve estimates estimated in accordance with the new SEC rules and definitional standards of the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum referred to in NI 43-101. Under Guide 7, the term “reserve” means that part of a mineral deposit that can be economically and legally extracted or produced at the time of the reserve determination. The term “economically”, as used in the definition of reserve, means that profitable extraction or production has been established or analytically demonstrated to be viable and justifiable under reasonable investment and market assumptions. The term “legally”, as used in the definition of reserve, does not imply that all permits needed for mining and processing have been obtained or that other legal issues have been completely resolved. However, for a reserve to exist, Hecla must have a justifiable expectation, based on applicable laws and regulations, that issuance of permits or resolution of legal issues necessary for mining and processing at a particular deposit will be accomplished in the ordinary course and in a timeframe consistent with Hecla’s current mine plans. The terms “Measured resources”, “Indicated resources,” and “Inferred resources” are mining terms as defined in accordance with the new SEC rules and NI 43-101. These terms are not defined under Guide 7 and prior to January 1, 2021, were not normally permitted to be used in reports and registration statements filed with the SEC in the United States, except where required to be disclosed by foreign law. The term “resource” does not equate to the term “reserve”. Under Guide 7, the material described herein as “Indicated resources” and “Measured resources” would be characterized as “mineralized material” and is permitted to be disclosed in tonnage and grade only, not ounces. The category of “inferred resources” is not recognized by Guide 7. Investors are cautioned not to assume that any part or all of the mineral deposits in such categories will ever be converted into Proven or Probable reserves. “Resources” have a great amount of uncertainty as to their existence, and great uncertainty as to their economic and legal feasibility. It cannot be assumed that all or any part of such a “resource” will ever be upgraded to a higher category or will ever be economically extracted. Investors are cautioned not to assume that all or any part of a “resource” exists or is economically or legally mineable. Investors are also especially cautioned that the mere fact that such resources may be referred to in ounces of silver and/or gold, rather than in tons of mineralization and grades of silver and/or gold estimated per ton, is not an indication that such material will ever result in mined ore which is processed into commercial silver or gold.