Our Responsibility

At Hecla, responsible mining is about being transparent and open. It’s a commitment both to the safety of our people and to the protection of the environment, as well as to continuous improvement through technological innovation. And it’s made possible thanks to the dedication of our employees – and with the support of our leadership and the communities in which we operate.

Corporate iconResponsible Mining – Our Core Value
Responsible Mining - Our Core Value The theme for our 2020 Sustainability Report is “Small Footprint, Large Benefit.” Throughout the report, we demonstrate Hecla’s small environmental footprint and our efforts to continually reduce our impact while providing a large economic and social benefit to our local communities.

Our report outlines our environmental, social and governance (ESG) goals, performance, and focus areas. For the third year, Hecla has benchmarked our performance against the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) Metals and Mining standards. 2020 is also the first year that we are reporting against relevant aspects of the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).

Download our 2020 Report PDF to learn more about our ESG efforts. Visit our Sustainability Reports Archive for previous reports.

 

Hecla Adherence to Guidelines of the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB)

Hecla benchmarks its sustainability performance against internationally recognized standards, including the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) Metals and Mining framework and relevant aspects of the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).

Hecla’s SASB tables can be found here.

Hecla’s Support of the UN Sustainable Development Goals

Hecla recognizes that each United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDG) is important, and we indirectly contribute in some way to the majority of them. We have prioritized the SDGs that align most directly with our business, corporate strategy, sustainability efforts, and stakeholder expectations, while also representing our greatest opportunities to contribute further to the goals.

Goal #3 – Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.
  • We experienced zero employee or contractor fatalities in 2020.
  • We exceeded our goal of reducing our AIFR by 5%, reducing AIFR by 24%, the lowest in company history.
  • We provide excellent benefits for our full-time employees such as medical insurance, life insurance, long- and short-term disability, retirement provisions, and wellness programs. We are one of the few remaining companies to offer pension benefits.


Goal #4 – Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities.
  • Hecla considers workforce training to be an important part of the educational continuum. Our employees and contractors worked more than 4.4 million man-hours and received more than 42,243 hours of health and safety training.
  • In the communities where we operate, we partner with organizations on programs to expand employee skills and train students for a career in mining.


Goal #6 – Ensure access to clean water and sanitation.
  • We recognize that mining operations can directly or indirectly impact water. At each of our sites, the goal is to reduce freshwater consumption, use water efficiently, maintain water quality, recycle water and engage with communities to collaboratively manage shared water resources.
  • Company-wide, we recycled 48% of the water used or diverted in our operations.


Goal #7 – Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy.
  • Hecla uses renewable energy sources whenever possible to reduce our carbon footprint. 76% of Hecla’s electrical power that came from the grid was hydropower.
  • When our Greens Creek mine is able to purchase surplus hydroelectricity from the local utility, that reduces the electrical bill for all ratepayers in Juneau, Alaska.


Goal #8 – Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all.
  • We are the largest private employer and taxpayer in Juneau, Alaska and Wallace/Mullan, Idaho.
  • We provided 2,257 direct jobs, including contractors, in North America — the majority in the U.S.
  • We provided another 3,000+ plus indirect jobs.
  • We provided more than a $550 million direct impact company-wide for our local communities.
  • Our human rights policy statement is a foundation for business conduct within our workforce and along our supply chain.


Goal #13 – Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.
  • We benchmark against relevant aspects of the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) and continue to assess business risks associated with climate change.
  • We reduced our Scope 1 and Scope 2 greenhouse gas emissions by 36% from 2019 to 2020.
  • In 2021, we will establish targets against the goal of being net carbon neutral by 2050.


Goal #15 Life on Land – Sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation, halt biodiversity loss.
  • Company-wide, our operations only disturbed 3,883 acres of land—about equal in size to just two typical family farms in Montana.
  • Hecla reclaimed 354 acres in 2020, including completing reclamation of the 300-acre Troy Tailings Storage Facility (TSF).
  • We partnered with local suppliers, contractors, and regional indigenous peoples to harvest seed and plant over 200,000 shrubs and trees at the TSF site.

Hecla’s Sustainability Performance

Our ongoing ESG efforts align with our on-the-ground sustainability programs. Below are some 2020 highlights in each ESG category:

Safeguard iconSafeguarding the Environment
Hecla Environment

We recognize that mining can directly or indirectly impact climate, water, land, and air. At each of our sites, we endeavor to reduce freshwater and energy consumption, reduce our carbon footprint, maintain local water quality backed by rigorous testing and monitoring, utilize methods and technologies that help protect all aspects of the environment, and restore the land once mining is complete.

2020 highlights include:

  • Achieving a 36% reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from 2019.
  • Attaining more than our multi-year 5% energy reduction goal – 76% of our line power was from hydropower.
  • Completing reclamation of the 300-acre Troy Tailings Storage Facility. As a result, the State of Montana reduced the required financial assurance by nearly $8 million.

Learn more about Hecla’s environmental performance.

Employees iconProtecting our Employees
Hecla Employees

Hecla’s commitment to the safety, health, and welfare of our workforce is an essential part of our corporate culture and reputation within the industry, with employees and in communities, and it is embodied in our extensive Hecla Safety and Health Policy. To ensure continuous improvement, these standards are tested, re-evaluated, and continually reviewed.

2020 highlights include:

  • Reducing our 2020 All-Injury Frequency Rate by 24% to 1.22 – an 80% reduction since 2012.
  • A 37% reduction in total non-compliance violations since 2018.
  • In response to the pandemic, implementing comprehensive health and safety protocols at each mine, including quarantines and rapid testing at our Greens Creek operation.

Learn more about Hecla’s safety and health performance and programs.

Community iconPartnering with Communities
Hecla Communities

Operating long-lived mines has allowed us to develop deep and mutually beneficial partnerships between our Company and the communities in which we operate. While our geographic footprint is small, we provide large social and economic benefits to host communities.

2020 highlights include:

  • Mobilizing and organizing operations to protect the health and safety of our workforce even before COVID-19 was deemed a pandemic, and helping address community needs, including food, supplies, and financial assistance.
  • Signing a Cooperation Agreement between Hecla Quebec and the Council of the Abitibiwinni First Nation (CAFN) that ensures employment and business opportunities for CAFN.

Learn more about our community engagement.

Community iconLeading by Example
Hecla Communities

Strong governance strengthens our policies and performance, and it distinguishes us as a respected precious metals producer. Operating transparently and with integrity has helped us earn the trust of our stakeholders, credibility within our communities, and dedication from our employees.

2020 highlights include:

  • Approving and publishing a human rights policy statement that codifies our commitment to respecting human rights.
  • Identifying a female director with risk management and ESG expertise in 2020, and officially appointing Ms. Alice Wong in 2021.

Learn more about our corporate governance.

Examples of Hecla’s Responsible Actions

At each of our sites, we endeavor to reduce freshwater and energy consumption, reduce our carbon footprint, maintain local water quality…

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Operating long-lived mines has allowed us to develop deep and mutually beneficial partnerships between our company and the communities in which we operate.

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Different types of waste are generated during each stage of the mining process.

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At Hecla, protecting our workforce is a top priority.

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Hecla collaborates with local Indigenous Peoples around our operations to ensure we share resources, facilitate employment opportunities, and operate responsibly.

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We invest in the technologies that help keep our workers safe and apply new mining techniques to decrease environmental impact while increasing production.

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Hecla’s focus on safety and behavior has steadily improved our safety records every year over the past eight years.

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Whenever possible, Hecla recycles and reuses water for milling and processing to help offset our freshwater withdrawal.

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The Alaska Chamber recently presented our Greens Creek Mine with the prestigious Rita Sholton Large Business of the Year Award which…

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Company-wide, Hecla’s entire operations directly affect less than 3,900 acres, which is about two-thirds of the area of the Spokane International Airport…

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We take seriously our role as a leader in our communities, especially during trying times like the global pandemic.

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Hecla is typically the largest employer and taxpayer in our communities, and company-wide in 2020 we provided around a $536 million direct economic impact…

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Our ability to operate responsibility starts with one the most fundamental aspect of our mines – their location.

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Our geographic and environmental footprint may be small, but we back our operations with a big commitment to ensuring positive economic and social benefits for our local communities.

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Our Casa Berardi Mine in Quebec, Canada was recently recognized as the safest mine for the year 2020 in the Quebec/Maritimes Regional-Metal Mines category.

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Hecla exceeded our 2019 performance targets for energy consumption and GHG emissions at our Casa Berardi Mine in Québec.

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The residents and elected officials of Wallace, Idaho have been working to secure funding to make needed improvements to their community swimming pool, and the Hecla Charitable Foundation stepped in.

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Hecla’s commitment to human rights is embodied in our human rights statement.

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Hecla has adopted a robust and on-going continuous improvement approach to identify and manage climate change related risks and continue our efforts to reduce our footprint on the climate.

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Safety has always been a part of the Hecla culture, and during the pandemic, we have made meaningful adjustments to ensure our employees and communities remain safe and healthy.

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The State of Montana recently recognized the successful reclamation progress at the Troy Mine.

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The U.S. mining industry has been an important part of our country’s economy during these uncertain times.

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Hecla’s $2 million dollar investment to install a backup power system at the Lucky Friday mine in Idaho was instrumental in safely evacuating all of our miners during the recent monstrous windstorm.

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Hecla and our employees strengthen our communities and our company by partnering and contributing in a meaningful way to the economic and social well-being of our host communities.

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We know that instilling safety awareness behavior is fundamental to making our workplace as safe as possible, which is why Hecla invests in training, technology, and workforce development programs that focus on safety first.

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We value our relationships with the Indigenous Peoples in the communities where we operate.

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This day honors the contributions of miners across the country providing the first step supply chain materials needed for our everyday living.

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We take very seriously how our decisions and processes related to water management impact our overall operations and our communities.

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Before we even begin, we think of the end. When Hecla acquired the Troy Mine in 2015, we made a commitment to the community to reclaim the site so the mined lands could be returned to other productive land uses such as wildlife habitat.

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Trade jobs will continue to be important in the future, and that is why Hecla has created programs and job site visits to educate students in middle and high school about mining careers and to help in their pursuit of higher education.

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Hecla is often among the largest private-sector employers in the communities in which we operate, and we hire locally as much as possible.

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Hecla has invested in innovative technology to help protect our people and reduce our environmental impact.

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Hecla uses renewable energy sources whenever possible to further reduce our environmental impact.

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Hecla produces one-third of all the silver in the United States. While 88 percent of our production comes from the U.S. and Canada, all of our mine sites are located in stable regions.

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Hecla’s recent “SAFETY: Take It Home” campaign contest was shared by both the National Mining Association (NMA) and CORESafety.

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Responsible management of mining waste, or tailings, is a critical part of our daily operations and our long-term responsibility to our communities.

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Hecla is often among the largest private-sector employers in the rural areas where our mines are located.

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Hecla’s innovation solutions range from simple to complex, and we optimize each site based on its customized operational priorities.

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Hecla Mining Company is a precious metals company. The metals and minerals we mine at our operations are at the very front of the nation’s supply chain and are essential to many industries, including health care.

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Investing in education has been a long-held priority for Hecla, and we have developed customized programs such as the Pathways to Mining Careers program in Alaska that support the educational needs of our communities and our workforce.

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Hecla’s goal is to bring every worker and every contractor home safe, every shift, every day.

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Hecla released its 2019 Sustainability Report which outlines our ongoing Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) efforts with our on-the-ground sustainability programs.

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Hecla’s Corporate Director of Safety and Health, Michael Wegleitner, brings the safety message home and to nearby schools.

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When Cindy Moore, a chief engineer at Hecla, was diagnosed with ALS in 2010, she immediately began fundraising for the ALS Association’s Evergreen Chapter and became a tireless advocate against this terrible disease.

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Hecla geologist Jonathan Moore was working in his yard with his two young children. He regularly demonstrates to them how Hecla teaches him to stay safe.

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Our mines are located in some of the world’s most unique habitats, and we strive to be attentive neighbors that ensure wildlife is safe and protected for the present and future.

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Companywide, Hecla employs close to 1,700 people with a total direct compensation of more than $50.9 million per year. In addition, more than one indirect job is created by each direct Hecla job.

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Hecla employees are leaders and volunteers in their communities. They serve on school boards, coach sports teams, raise money for charity and promote mining education initiatives.

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Our Lucky Friday Mine was named a “Pollution Prevention Champion” by the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (IDEQ) for its environmental stewardship practices.

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Science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills are critical for advancing the mining industry and building the workforce of tomorrow.

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Our Lucky Friday Mine was recently named a 2018 Sentinels of Safety award winner by the National Mining Association (NMA) for its stellar safety record.

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Responsible. Safe. Innovative.

Responsible
Safe
Innovative