New vice president to lead Hecla Mining IR

Feb 12, 2013
<p>Mike Westerlund to head up investor relations at North American silver mining firm&nbsp;</p>

Hecla, founded in 1891 and one of the largest silver mining companies in the US, has brought in a new vice president of investor relations.

With ‘significant experience’ in the metals industry, Mike Westerlund joins the firm to lead both its IR and communications programs, reporting to the company’s president and CEO Phillips Baker. Announcing Westerlund’s appointment in a company statement, Baker says: ‘Mike brings experience and energy to his new position at Hecla. We are looking forward to him playing an important role in the communication of our current operations and growth initiatives to broaden and add shareholder value.’

Over the past 13 years Westerlund has held a number of increasingly senior IR and corporate communications positions at mining and technology firms, most recently as vice president of investor relations at Peregrine Diamonds.

Hecla operates two mines and three ‘pre-development’ sites in Alaska, Colorado, Idaho and Mexico. The company had to reduce its silver production estimate to approximately 7 mn ounces for 2012 after a build-up of debris led to Hecla being ordered to close the Silver Shaft at its Lucky Friday mine in Idaho at the start of last year.

In a release announcing Hecla’s Q3 2012 results in November last year, Baker said the mile-deep mine should return to production in the first quarter of 2013, with a full-year production output of more than 2 mn ounces. By next year this should have increased to the mine’s normal production rate of around 3 mn ounces.

‘We know how difficult the shutdown has been for employees and shareholders,’ said Baker, ‘so we’ve worked hard to transform it into something that will be positive for both, long into the future.’

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