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Lucky Friday | #4 shaft project

The #4 Shaft project, an internal shaft at the Lucky Friday mine, is expected, upon its completion, to provide deeper access in order to increase the mine's production and operational life. The #4 Shaft project, as currently designed, is expected to involve development down to the 8800-foot level. Hecla commenced engineering and construction activities on the #4 Shaft in late 2008, and the Board of Directors gave its final approval of the project in August 2011. 

The #4 Shaft is a key growth project that is excavated to the 6500 level, with construction underway of the station at that level. #4 Shaft is more than 60% completed, and the project is expected to be finished in 2016, allowing access to higher-grade zones that could raise Lucky Friday’s silver production to 5 million ounces as soon as 2017. #4 Shaft is expected to cost approximately $215 million, which includes approximately $130 million that has been spent on the project as of December 31, 2013. 

 

In addition, an optimization study is under way at the Lucky Friday to evaluate throughput increases at the mine. Production is limited by mill capacity; therefore, this study will determine the mine's capacity and the economics of increasing mill capacity.

A study of optimal production levels for the Lucky Friday unit has been completed. This study identified opportunities for increasing mine production throughout the mine life which will be pursued at a feasibility level to refine the associated costs and develop an assessment of the economic viability of these opportunities.