Hecla Mining Co. Wednesday posted lower losses in the first quarter of 1995 than it had in the same period last year.
The mining company lost $4.5 million, or 9 cents a common share, compared with a loss of $7.7 million, or 19 cents a share, in the first quarter of 1994.
Hecla lost less money because of full production levels reached at its La Choya gold mine and from its new clay slurry plant, both in Mexico. Also, the first quarter of 1994 reflected costs from the merger with Equinox Resources Ltd.
But start-up costs at Hecla’s Grouse Creek gold mine near Challis, Idaho, contributed to continuing losses at the company. Lower silver prices hurt as well. The company received $4.70 for an ounce of silver in the first quarter of 1995 compared with $5.29 an ounce a year earlier.
Hecla did find more ore reserves at its properties. Proven gold reserves found through drilling increased 75 percent to 2.1 million ounces from the first quarter of 1994, and proven silver reserves increased 52 percent to 76 million ounces, the company said.