Hecla Mining Co. reported an $8.6 million loss for the previous quarter despite increasing silver and gold production.
Based in Couer d'Alene, Hecla mined 2.3 million ounces of silver, a 42 percent increase from the third quarter of 2012. However, the average price for silver fell during that time from $35 to $22.22 per ounce. That loss in sales combined with expenses tied to purchasing and starting work on operations in Canada formerly owned by Aurizon Mines led to the end-quarter loss.
Hecla increased gold production 164 percent to nearly 37,000 ounces. Production of 23,000 ounces at the Casa Berardi mine, in Quebec, which was part of the Aurizon deal, was the main reason for the increase.
Hecla's Lucky Friday silver mine in Mullan, Idaho returned to full production during the quarter. The mine, which had been Hecla's best producer, was shut down for a year to address safety concerns. Lucky Friday reopened in February operating at partial capacity.