Air: Climate, Emissions & Energy Use

Climate Change & Net Zero Targets

Hecla continues to be an industry leader in low emissions silver production, with the highest ratio of silver ounces produced per metric tonne of GHG emissions. As a supplier of a metal vital to the energy transition, we strive to reduce our emissions wherever possible and offset the remainder. We achieved net zero carbon emissions in 2021 as a result of our purchases of carbon credit in the form of certified emission reductions tied to the Stung Tatay Hydroelectric Project in Cambodia.

To demonstrate Hecla’s commitment to reducing its carbon footprint, we have set targets for reductions in Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions.

2020: 36% reduction in GHG emissions

2021: 11% reduction in GHG emissions

Small Footprint

  • Company-wide, we achieved a 36% reduction in GHG emissions from 2019, and over last three years we saw a 32% increase in the number of silver ounces produced per ton of GHG emission.
  • Overall, we produced 473 silver equivalent ounces per ton of GHG.
  • Hecla produces two to three-times more gold equivalent ounces/ton GHG than some of the largest gold-mining companies.

Anticipating the Impact of Climate Change

Hecla recognizes that the impacts of climate change are expected to create greater potential risks for its operations, including risks posed by increased frequency of droughts and more extreme weather events such as intense rainfalls. Potential operational risks include higher volumes of mine contact water requiring storage and treatment, increased requirements for stormwater diversion and associated water management systems, and reduced availability of freshwater. As part of our enterprise risk management processes, we are committed to incorporating climate-related risks and opportunities into our risk management and strategic planning processes aligned with the TCFD (Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures) framework.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Hecla is working to reduce energy intensity use and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Production per GHG Emissions*

2019

2020

2021

Ag ounces

12,605,234

13,542,957

12,887,240

Ag-Equivalent ounces

47,200,000

40,700,000

37,573,889

Au-Equivalent ounces*

674,286

581,429

525,531*

GHG Scope 1 (metric tonnes, CO2 e)***

102,675

57,580

52,932

GHG Scope 2 (metric tonnes CO2 e)***

32,626

28,390

23,618

GHG Scope 1 & 2 (metric tonnes CO2 e)**

135,301

85,970

76,550

Total Energy kWh

689,062,509

500,244,722

497,954,623

kWh Electricity

308,565,571

288,404,740

290,013,758

Metric Tonnes GHG/Ag ounce

0.010

0.006

0.006

Ag ounces/Metric Tonnes GHG 

93

157

168

Ag-Equivalent ounces/Metric Tonnes  GHG

349

473

491

Au-Equivalent ounces/Metric Tonnes GHG

5.0

6.8

6.9

* 2019 and 2020 Au-Equivalent ounces have been calculated using the long-term average ratio of 70 Ag-ounces per Au-ounce
** 2021 Au-Equivalent ounces have been calculated using the long-term average ratio of 71.50 Ag-ounces per Au-ounce
*** Hecla previously reported GHG emissions in imperial tons, this has been changed to reflect the correct unit of metric tonnes CO2e

Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol

To determine Hecla’s Scope 1 carbon dioxide emissions, a third-party consultant utilizes U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reporting standards, protocols, methodologies, and other related guidance.

The GHG guidance is based on The Greenhouse Gas Protocol: A Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard (GHG Protocol) developed by the World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD).

A photo of a miner using a tablet.
A photo of a graph

Energy Use

Reducing energy consumption through streamlined processes and adoption of technology is positive for the environment and for our operating efficiency. Review our ESG data tables for a breakdown of our energy usage by site.

Total Energy Use

Energy

kWh

% of total kWh

Total Energy Consumed

508,886,777

Electricity—from line power

275,490,812

54.1%

Percent line power from hydropower–76%

Electricity—on site by diesel generation

14,825,986

2.9%

Diesel (gal) 4,991,558

187,962,640

36.9%

Gasoline (gal) 228,592

7,510,930

1.5%

Natural Gas (CF) 24,615,094

7,218,503

1.4%

Propane (gal) 635,810

17,789,964

3.5%

100%

Alternative Energy Sources

In addition to creating efficiencies to reduce energy intensity consumption and GHG intensity emissions, Hecla uses alternative energy sources whenever possible to further reduce our carbon footprint. Line power to our Greens Creek, Casa Berardi, and Lucky Friday operations utilizes a high percentage of renewable hydropower.

Hydropower Use at Greens Creek

Greens Creek’s purchase of surplus hydropower has benefitted Juneau residents in the form of reduced rates to the tune of over $70 million since 2009. The purchase of renewable energy from Alaska Electric Light & Power reduces the carbon emissions that the mine would otherwise produce while helping to pay for hydroelectric infrastructure that will benefit Juneau residents for generations to come.

A graph of Total Energy Intensity.