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Hecla Posts Improved Earnings

Hecla Mining Co. Thursday reported a small gain for the second quarter.

Hecla made $229,000, or 1 cent a share, compared with a loss of $1.3 million, or 3 cents a share, for the second quarter of 1994.

The improvement came mostly from a $3.4 million gain on the sale of common stock investments, the silver and gold mining company said.

Coeur d’Alene-based Hecla also received $1.1 million from the final insurance settlement in the Lucky Friday silver mine accident that happened last August in Mullan.

An accident with the hoist equipment idled the mine for three months.

Hecla produced substantially more gold during the second quarter as its Grouse Creek mine near Challis, Idaho, reached full production and its La Choya mine in Mexico lowered its cost of mining gold while increasing production.

For the first half of the year, Hecla lost $4.2 million, or 9 cents a share, compared with a loss of $9 million, 22 cents a share, in the first half of 1994.

Sunshine Mining & Refining Co. widened its losses in the second quarter due mostly to lower silver prices and poor ore grade from its Sunshine Silver Mine in Big Creek, Idaho.

Boise-based Sunshine lost $4.6 million, compared with a loss of $1.1 million during the year-earlier quarter.

A 26-cent drop in the price of silver the last day of the quarter cost the company nearly $500,000. A low grade of 16 ounces of silver per ton of ore pulled from the Sunshine mine also pushed up the costs of mining it.

, DataTimes