Ceramic Industry News

Hecla Releases Fourth Quarter And Year-End Results

Hecla Mining Co. recorded a fourth quarter 2000 loss of $12 million, or 18 cents a share, before noncash write-downs and environmental accruals. An asset write-down in the amount of $31.2 million for the Lucky Friday mine and environmental accruals of $15.2 million brought the loss applicable to common shareholders in the fourth quarter of 2000 to $58.3 million, or 87 cents a share. For the full year 2000, the total loss applicable to common shareholders was $92 million, or $1.38 a share, including asset write-downs, accruals and preferred dividends. Noncash charges for the year totaled $56.7 million, which includes the Lucky Friday asset write-down in the fourth quarter, asset write-downs previously announced for the Rosebud and Noche Buena gold properties and environmental accruals for the Bunker Hill Superfund site and the Grouse Creek mine.

Hecla recently announced it had entered into an agreement to sell its wholly owned subsidiaries, Kentucky-Tennessee Clay Co. and K- T Feldspar, to Imerys USA, Inc., for a price of $62.5 million, subject to customary post-closing adjustments. The transaction is expected to close in early April, subject to regulatory approval. "The proceeds from the sale of K-T Clay will be sufficient to pay off a $55 million bank debt we have coming due in April," said Arthur Brown, Hecla's chairman and chief executive officer. "Paying off the debt will enhance our balance sheet and give us some cash on hand."

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