Hecla Mining Co HL
Q4 2011 Earnings Call Transcript

Transcript Call Date 02/21/2012

Operator: Good day, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the Fourth Quarter and 2011 Year-End Financial Results Conference Call. My name is Fab and I'll be your operator for today. At this time all participants are in listen-only mode. Later we will conduct a question and answer session. I would now like to turn the conference over to Melanie Hennessey, Vice President of Investor Relations.

Melanie Hennessey - VP of IR: Thank you, Fab. Hello, everyone, and thank you for joining us for Hecla's fourth quarter and year-end 2011 financial and operations results. Our news release, which was issued this morning before market opened, and today's presentation are available on our website. In addition Hecla issued a release last Thursday announcing the latest reserves and resources and provided an update on our predevelopment and exploration initiatives.

On today's call, we have Phil Baker, Hecla's President and CEO; Jim Sabala, Senior Vice President and CFO; Larry Radford, Vice President, Operations; and Dean McDonald, Vice President, Exploration.

Before we get started, I need to remind you that any forward-looking statements made today by the management team come under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act. Such statements include projections and goals which are likely to involve risks, detailed in our various SEC filings, and in the forward-looking disclaimer included in the earnings release and at the beginning of the presentation. These risks could cause results to differ from projections.

In addition, in our filings with the SEC, we are only allowed to disclose mineral deposits that we can economically and legally extract or produce. Investors are cautioned about our use of such terms as measured, indicated, and inferred resources, and we urge you to consider the disclosures that we make in our SEC filings.

With that, I will pass the line over to Phil Baker, Hecla's President and CEO. Phil?

Phillips S. Baker, Jr. - President and CEO: Thanks, Melanie. Hello, everyone. I'm glad you could all join us today. Jim and Larry and I are here at the Zinc Conference. So, we're speaking from a conference room and there's a little bit of an echo, and we apologize for that.

I'm going to provide a brief overview and then Larry will provide additional details on the work-plan at Lucky Friday, and also we'll talk about Greens Creek's capital program. Jim is going to then speak about our financial results and Dean will provide an update on reserves, resources, exploration and the pre-development initiatives. I'm going to close out the call with our 2012 guidance and then we'll take questions.

Now, for the year-end fourth quarter results, please see Slide 4. First financially, it was an excellent year and the fourth quarter had very solid financial results. We had record 2011 sales and gross profits with $478 million and $265 million respectively. While silver production was less than 2010, the 9.5 million ounces was in line with guidance, despite the challenges faced at the Lucky Friday mine over the last year.

Costs were $1.15 per ounce which remains among the lowest in the world and realized silver prices average $35 per ounce almost all of it margin.

Read our Earnings Call Transcript disclaimer.
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