Hecla Mining Co. (NYSE:HL) Q2 2020 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

Aug 06, 2020 • 10:00 am ET

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Hecla Mining Co. (NYSE:HL) Q2 2020 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

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Presentation
Operator
Operator

Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by, and welcome to the Q2 2020 Hecla Mining Company Earnings Conference Call. [Operator Instructions]

I would now like to hand the conference over to Mr. Mike Westerlund. Please go ahead.

Executive
Mike Westerlund

Thank you, operator. This is Mike Westerlund, Hecla's Vice President of Investor Relations. Good morning, and welcome, everyone, and thank you for joining us for Hecla's second quarter 2020 financial and operations results conference call. Our financial results news release that was issued this morning before market open, along with today's presentation are available on our website. On today's call, we have Phil Baker, President and CEO; Lindsay Hall, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer; Lauren Roberts, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer; Kurt Allen, Director of Exploration; and Keith Blair, Chief Geologist.

Any forward-looking information made today by the management team come under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act and involve risks shown on Slide 2 and 3 in our earnings release and in our 10-Q and 10-K filings with the SEC. These risks could cause results to differ from those projected in the forward-looking statements. Reconciliations of non-GAAP measures cited in this call and related slides and cautionary language for our use of the term resource instead of reserves are also found in these documents.

With that, I will pass the call to Phil Baker.

Executive
Phillips S. Baker

Thanks, Mike. Good morning, everyone, and thanks for joining the call. I'm going to speak to Slide 4. What's become clear is that we've been -- we will be operating in a new normal, which is in reaction to this pandemic and we're prepared for it. We have plans and practices that help protect the workers, the communities and our operations.

As you see from the second quarter results, we've been able to adjust quickly. And my thanks go out to all of my colleagues at the mines and in our offices who have made the quarter what it is. So despite COVID-19, we're producing more silver at a higher -- at higher prices than we did last year or in the first quarter of this year, enabling us to generate 24% higher revenues, $27 million of free cash flow, and combined with being declared an essential business, we were able to repay $160 million of our revolver.

Now, I'm going to let Lindsay and Lauren focus on the quarter, and I'm just going to really focus on two things: first, on the silver price; and second, on the uniqueness of Hecla as an investment. So, first on prices. Gold and especially silver prices are markedly higher, and we think the higher prices are inevitable, given the backdrop of the continued monetary stimulus from negative real rates, the trillions of dollars of physical stimulus, the weakness of the US dollar and growing political uncertainty. And so, we haven't seen the gold prices at these levels, but we have seen silver, and I think that's important to remember. What is clear is that, when the