Hecla Mining NYSE:HL is a precious metals resource company involved in the extraction, processing and sale of silver, gold, lead and zinc in addition to mineral exploration. In the United States it is a top four silver producer that also has the distinction of being one of the most cost effective (2010 total cash cost (total direct & indirect operating costs) per ounce of silver was -$1.46. In 2008 total cash cost per ounce was $4.20 and in 2009 it lowered that even further to $1.91/oz making it one of the lowest cost producers). It has corporate offices in Vancouver, Canada and Idaho, USA (headquarters) and operates in the USA and Mexico. Operations (silver) are in Alaska (Green's Creek) and Idaho (Lucky Friday); exploration projects are in Colorado (San Juan) and New Mexico (San Sebastian). Though the company is 117 years old only in the last decade (significantly since 2008 because that's when the largest, Green's Creek was acquired,1996-2002 Lucky Friday had 2 producing mines, 2002 San Sebastian begins producing; before that time many of the properties were just exploration projects) has it started to produce at significant levels (previously it took a more balanced approach to exploration and ore processing/production). As of January 2011 only Green's Creek has proved reserves of silver or gold (16.6 million ounces of silver about 12% of 2P reserves), probable reserves were 122.96 million silver (847,400 oz for gold). Total silver production in 2010 was 10.566 million ounces (68.2% at Green's Creek, 31.8% at Lucky Friday) down 3.8% yoy, total gold production in 2010 was 68,838 ounces (all at Green's Creek) up 2.3% yoy.
As of the third quarter of 2010, the company was on track to spend $20 million on exploration activity, produce upwards of 11 million ounces of silver at a cash cost of -50 cents/oz.(Read more at Wikinvest )