Mining 101

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In Gold We Trust 2020 Report

Hecla is proud to be a premium partner of this year’s In Gold We Trust report. The report was presented at an international press conference and live event on May 27, 2020.

"The leitmotif of this year is “The Dawning of a Golden Decade”. The more than 300-page In Gold We Trust report is world-renowned and has been named the “gold standard of all gold studies” by the Wall Street Journal. Last year's edition was downloaded more than 1.8 million times. This makes In Gold We Trust, which will be published for the 14h time this year, one of the most widely read gold studies internationally. The Chinese version of the In Gold We Trust report will be published in autumn 2020." Ronald-Peter Stoeferle, CMT, Managing Partner, Fund Manager & Research, Incrementum.

Learn more about the report and Incrementum.

Download In Gold We Trust report.
Silver Promotion Service

Click on the ‘silver’ logo for information about the Silver Institute’s newest silver promotion initiative. Please visit the Silver Institute’s publications page for the latest GFMS reports.

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World Silver Summary

World Silver Survey 2020 PDF

Learn more about ZincClick here to watch video?(source: Zinc World)

Educational Links

Glossary Terms

Assay – To analyze the proportions of metals in an ore, to test an ore or mineral for composition, purity, weight, or other properties of commercial interest.

By-product – A secondary metal or mineral product recovered in the milling process.

Cash Operating Costs – Includes all direct and indirect operating cash costs related directly to the physical activities of producing metals, including mining, processing and other plant costs, third-party refining and marketing expenses and on-site general and administrative costs, net of by-product revenues earned from all metals other than the primary metal produced at each unit.

Concentrates – The valuable fraction of an ore that is left after worthless material is removed in processing.

Cut-and-fill – A stoping method in which the ore is excavated by successive flat or inclined slices, working upward from the level. However, after each slice is blasted down, all broken ore is removed, and the stope is filled with waste (backfill) up to within a few feet of the back before the next slice is taken out, just enough room being left between the top of the waste pile and the back of the stope to provide working space. The term cut-and-fill stoping implies a definite and characteristic sequence of operations:

  • breaking a slice of ore from the back;
  • removing the broken ore; and
  • introducing filling.

Cut-off Grade – The lowest grade of mineralized material that qualifies as ore in a given deposit; ore of the lowest assay value that is included in an ore estimate.

Doré – Unrefined gold and silver bullion bars consisting of approximately 90% precious metals, which will be further refined.

GAAP – Generally Accepted Accounting Principles. The common set of standards and procedures by which audited financial statements are prepared.

Galena – A bluish-gray to lead-gray mineral. It frequently contains included silver minerals. It has a shiny metallic luster, exhibits highly perfect cubic cleavage, and is relatively soft and very heavy. Galena is the most important ore of lead and one of the most important sources of silver.

Indicated Mineral Resource – An Indication Mineral Resource is that part of a Mineral Resource for which quantity, grade or quality, densities, shape and physical characteristics, can be estimated with a level of confidence sufficient to allow the appropriate application of technical and economic parameters, to support mine planning and evaluation of the economic viability of the deposit. The estimate is based on detailed and reliable exploration and testing information gathered through appropriate techniques from locations such as outcrops, trenches, pits, workings and drill holes that are spaced closely enough for geological and grade continuity to be reasonably assumed.

Inferred Mineral Resource – An Inferred Mineral Resource is that part of a Mineral Resource for which quantity and grade or quality can be estimated on the basis of geological evidence and limited sampling and reasonably assumed, but not verified, geological and grade continuity. The estimate is based on limited information and sampling gathered through appropriate techniques from locations such as outcrops, trenches, pits, workings and drill holes.

Mineralized Material – Estimates of mineralization that have been sufficiently drilled and geologically understood to allow the assumption of continuity between samples, but for which an economically viable plan has not been formulated.

Ore – A mixture of valuable and gangue (valueless minerals) from which at least one of the minerals or metals can be extracted at a profit.

Orebody – A continuous, well-defined mass of material of sufficient ore content to make extraction economically feasible.

Patenting – A process established under the General Mining Law of 1872 which permits the conversion of mining claims on federal lands into full fee ownership, provided certain conditions are met.

Primary Development – The initial access to an orebody through adits, shafts, declines, ramps and winzes.

Probable Reserves – A portion of a mineralized deposit that can be extracted or produced economically and legally at the time of the reserve determination. Reserves for which quantity and grade and/or quality are computed from information similar to that used for proven reserves, but the sites for inspection, sampling and measurement are farther apart or are otherwise less adequately spaced. The degree of assurance, although lower than that for proven reserves, is high enough to assume continuity between points of observation.

Proven Reserves – A portion of a mineralized deposit that can be extracted or produced economically and legally at the time of the reserve determination. Reserves for which; (a) quantity is computed from dimensions revealed in outcrops, trenches, workings or drill holes, grade and/or quality are computed from the results of detailed sampling; and (b) the sites for inspection, sampling and measurement are spaced so closely and the geologic character is so well-defined that size, shape, depth and mineral content of reserves are well established.

Secondary Development – The preparation of the orebody for production through crosscuts, raises and stope preparation.

Stope – An underground excavation from which ore has been extracted either above or below a level in a mine. A level is the distance below the collar of the shaft where an opening is driven.

Total Cash Costs – Includes all direct and indirect operating cash costs related directly to the physical activities of producing metals, including mining, processing and other plant costs, third-party refining and marketing expenses, on-site general and administrative costs, royalties and mine production taxes, net of by-product revenues earned from all metals other than the primary metal produced at each unit.

Total Cash Costs Per Ounce – Calculated based on total cash costs, as defined above, net of by-product revenues earned from all metals other than the primary metal produced at each unit, divided by the total ounces of the primary metal produced.

Cash costs per ounce of silver represent measurements that management uses to monitor and evaluate the performance of its mining operations, which are not in accordance with GAAP. We believe cash costs per ounce of silver provide an indicator of cash flow generation at each location and on a consolidated basis, as well as providing a meaningful basis to compare our results to those of other mining companies and other mining operating properties.

Total Production Costs – Includes total cash costs, as defined above, plus depreciation, depletion, amortization and accretion of asset retirement obligations relating to each operating unit.

Total Production Costs Per Ounce – Calculated based upon total production costs, as defined above, net of by-product revenues earned from all metals other than the primary metal produced at each unit, divided by the total ounces of the primary metal produced.

Unpatented Mining Claim – A parcel of property located on federal lands pursuant to the General Mining Law and the requirements of the state in which the unpatented claim is located, the paramount title of which remains with the federal government. The holder of a valid, unpatented lode-mining claim is granted certain rights, including the right to explore and mine such claim under the General Mining Law.