Since 1891, Hecla Mining Company has distinguished itself as a respected precious metals producer. Our code of conduct demonstrates our commitment and standards of ethics and integrity in every aspect of our business.
Standardized assessment of political risks is essential for efficient operations and allocation of resources. Hecla takes steps to ensure current and future operations are protected and managed as follows:
- Hecla operates in the highest Fraser Institute rated jurisdictions with the most robust regulatory frameworks for environmental compliance, health and safety protections, community engagement, and corporate governance.
- 88% of company production comes from Canada and the United States which are rated #9 and #22 respectively in the Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index.
- Hecla Quebec, as a member of the Mining Association of Canada and Quebec Mining Association, is complying with the required Toward Sustainable Mining (TSM) initiative which is recognized as one of the best in class mining management systems.
- Our corporate responsibility programs (including ESG) is overseen by the Board of Directors through the Healthy, Safety, Environment and Technology (HSET) committee.
Our workforce uses innovative processes and technology to make our operations safe and efficient – and to live up to leading social and environmental standards so that we make a positive difference to economies and communities wherever we work. As Hecla is a publicly traded company, our CEO and senior financial officers are held to an especially high set of ethical standards as described in our Code of Ethics.
Hecla’s Code of Conduct demonstrates our commitment to seeking and delivering best practices in ethics and integrity in every aspect of our business. While directors and employees are obligated to follow this code, we expect our leaders to set the example – to be a model in every respect. And we expect all those with supervisory responsibility to exercise that responsibility in a manner that is caring, receptive, considerate, and respectful.
Our Corporate Governance Guidelines provide shareholders with the best-practice principles of our corporate governance program and board framework. With the exception of our Executive Committee, board committees have written charters clearly establishing their respective roles and responsibilities and are composed exclusively of independent directors. The Corporate Governance Committee oversees and conducts an annual performance evaluation of our board. The Health, Safety, Environment and Technology Committee oversees associated risks and strategic plans and progress to ensure the sustainability of our operations and social license.
The primary responsibility of the Compensation Committee, which consists entirely of independent members of the board of directors, is executive compensation decisions. It carries out those responsibilities under a charter approved by the board of directors and has the authority to approve all executive compensation – including that of our CEO. The pay-for-performance philosophy of Hecla’s executive compensation program plays a significant role in its ability to produce strong operating, exploration, strategic, and financial results.
Hecla is actively engaged with – and in leadership positions serving – both state and federal trade associations. Our president and CEO, Phillips S. Baker, Jr., is currently chairman of the National Mining Association; we also have representatives on governing committees of the Alaska, Idaho, Nevada, and Quebec Mining Associations and serve in regional associations such as the American Exploration & Mining Association and Camimex in Mexico.
Common stockholders are allowed to vote on important issues, and we listen to their feedback. You can find more information here.
Based on discussions with our shareholders, since 2016, we have:
- Added a female director
- Added three new directors and reduced our average board tenure
- Updated our Corporate Governance Guidelines to include a director resignation policy
- In 2018, we increased our ESG reporting in our Proxy and on our website
The Audit Committee assists the Board of Directors in fulfilling its oversight responsibilities – the integrity of the financial statements, the independent auditor’s qualifications and independence, the performance of the internal audit function, compliance with legal and regulatory requirements (including disclosure controls and procedures), and the effectiveness of the internal controls over financial reporting.
At Hecla, our Integrated Corporate Responsibility Policy begins with the belief that a safe mine is a productive mine – and that we will strive to guard the safety and health of both our employees and our communities. Second, we will be responsible environmental stewards who strive to minimize the effects of exploration, development, and operations – and then reclaim our projects to productive post-mining land uses. Third, we believe that by becoming responsive to community needs, we’re able to build trust and relationships that foster our social license to operate. This encompasses taking a mutually beneficial approach to issues affecting the communities where we operate, treating others with respect, and engaging in open and honest communication. Each of these aspects is considered key to our core business strategy and continued profitability and will therefore be fully integrated into our business planning.
In the 2018 Fraser Institute Survey of Mining Companies, Nevada, Quebec, and Alaska were named among the top 10 jurisdictions in the Investment Attractiveness Index in the world; Nevada and Quebec were in the top 10 in the Policy Perception Index. Both the United States and Canada were among the top 3 countries in the 2018 World Median Investment Attractiveness Scores.
In our 2018 report, we detail our efforts in the areas of environmental, social and governance (ESG) and have increased our disclosure in these areas by benchmarking against the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) metrics. Globally, we outline the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that most closely align with our business and where we as a company can help make a difference.
Click on this report to learn more about our ESG initiatives, our current progress on the environment, safety, social investments, community, workforce and governance as well as our focus areas for the future.