hl20140331_10q.htm

 

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

FORM 10-Q

 

 

[X]           QUARTERLY REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE

SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

 

For the quarterly period ended March 31, 2014

 

 

Commission file number

 

1-8491

 

HECLA MINING COMPANY

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

 

 

 

Delaware

 

77-0664171

 
 

(State or other jurisdiction of

 

(I.R.S. Employer

 
 

incorporation or organization)

 

Identification No.)

 
         
 

6500 Mineral Drive, Suite 200

     
 

Coeur d'Alene, Idaho

 

83815-9408

 
 

(Address of principal executive offices)

 

(Zip Code)

 
         

208-769-4100

(Registrant's telephone number, including area code)

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant: (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.

Yes XX .    No      .

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§ 232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files).

Yes XX .    No___.

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, or a smaller reporting company.  See definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer” and “smaller reporting company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act (check one):

Large Accelerated Filer   XX.                                                                                         Accelerated Filer     .

Non-Accelerated Filer      .                                                                                         Smaller reporting company    .

(Do not check if a smaller reporting company)

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).

Yes      .    No XX.

 

Indicate the number of shares outstanding of each of the issuer’s classes of common stock, as of the latest practicable date.

 

 

Class

 

Shares Outstanding May 2, 2014

Common stock, par value

$0.25 per share

 

343,128,915

 

 

 
 

 

 

Hecla Mining Company and Subsidiaries

 

Form 10-Q

 

For the Quarter Ended March 31, 2014

 

INDEX*

 

     

Page

PART I - Financial Information

 
       
   

Item 1 – Condensed Consolidated Financial Statements (Unaudited)

 
       
   

Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheets - March 31, 2014 and December 31, 2013

3

       
   

Condensed Consolidated Statements of Operations and Comprehensive Income - Three Months Ended March 31, 2014 and 2013

4

       
   

Condensed Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows - Three Months Ended March 31, 2014 and 2013

5

       
   

Notes to Condensed Consolidated Financial Statements (Unaudited)

6

       
   

Item 2. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

 
       
   

Item 3. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk

45

       
   

Item 4. Controls and Procedures

47

       

PART II - Other Information

 
       
   

Item 1 – Legal Proceedings

47

       
   

Item 1A – Risk Factors

47

       
   

Item 4 – Mine Safety Disclosures

47

       
   

Item 6 – Exhibits

47

       
   

Signatures

48

       
   

Exhibits

49

 

*Items 2, 3 and 5 of Part II are omitted as they are not applicable.

 

 
2

 

 

Part I - Financial Information

 

Item 1. Financial Statements

 

 

Hecla Mining Company and Subsidiaries

 

Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheets (Unaudited)

(In thousands, except shares)

 

   

March 31,

2014

   

December 31,

2013

 

ASSETS

 

Current assets:

               

Cash and cash equivalents

  $ 207,642     $ 212,175  

Accounts receivable:

               

Trade

    26,159       17,672  

Other, net

    10,650       20,893  

Inventories:

               

Concentrates, doré, and stockpiled ore

    22,746       27,740  

Materials and supplies

    21,112       21,097  

Current deferred income taxes

    30,946       35,734  

Other current assets

    13,016       8,324  

Total current assets

    332,271       343,635  

Non-current investments

    8,730       7,019  

Non-current restricted cash and investments

    7,702       5,217  

Properties, plant, equipment and mineral interests, net

    1,805,632       1,791,601  

Non-current deferred income taxes

    86,677       78,780  

Other non-current assets and deferred charges

    9,269       5,867  

Total assets

  $ 2,250,281     $ 2,232,119  

LIABILITIES

 

Current liabilities:

               

Accounts payable and accrued liabilities

  $ 39,232     $ 51,152  

Accrued payroll and related benefits

    17,359       18,769  

Accrued taxes

    12,619       7,881  

Current portion of capital leases

    8,482       8,471  

Current portion of accrued reclamation and closure costs

    58,640       58,425  

Other current liabilities

    15,228       6,781  

Total current liabilities

    151,560       151,479  

Capital leases

    14,112       14,332  

Accrued reclamation and closure costs

    55,353       46,766  

Long-term Debt

    491,042       490,726  

Non-current deferred tax liability

    159,890       164,861  

Other non-current liabilities

    34,862       37,536  

Total liabilities

    906,819       905,700  

Commitments and contingencies (Notes 2, 4, 7, 9, and 11)

               

STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITY

 

Preferred stock, 5,000,000 shares authorized:

               

Series B preferred stock, $0.25 par value, 157,816 shares issued and outstanding, liquidation preference — $7,891

    39       39  

Common stock, $0.25 par value, 500,000,000 shares authorized; issued and outstanding 2014 — 342,840,128 shares and 2013 — 342,663,381 shares

    85,943       85,896  

Capital surplus

    1,431,903       1,426,845  

Accumulated deficit

    (144,355

)

    (154,982

)

Accumulated other comprehensive loss

    (24,949

)

    (26,299

)

Less treasury stock, at cost; 2014 - 932,811 and 2013 - 921,721

    (5,119

)

    (5,080

)

Total stockholders’ equity

    1,343,462       1,326,419  

Total liabilities and stockholders’ equity

  $ 2,250,281     $ 2,232,119  

 

The accompanying notes are an integral part of the interim condensed consolidated financial statements.

 

 
3

 

  

Hecla Mining Company and Subsidiaries

 

Condensed Consolidated Statements of Operations and Comprehensive Income (Unaudited)

(Dollars and shares in thousands, except for per-share amounts)

 

 

   

Three Months Ended

 
   

 

March 31, 2014

   

March 31, 2013

 

Sales of products

  $ 125,787     $ 76,450  

Cost of sales and other direct production costs

    77,741       36,825  

Depreciation, depletion and amortization

    25,803       14,007  
      103,544       50,832  

Gross profit

    22,243       25,618  

Other operating expenses:

               

General and administrative

    7,941       6,939  

Exploration

    4,150       6,493  

Pre-development

    419       4,791  

Other operating expense

    718       1,024  

Provision for closed operations and environmental matters

    1,104       1,794  

Lucky Friday suspension-related costs

          1,498  

Aurizon acquisition costs

          5,292  
      14,332       27,831  

Income (loss) from operations

    7,911       (2,213

)

Other income (expense):

               

Unrealized gain on investments

    688        

Gain on derivative contracts

    9,452       21,539  

Net foreign exchange gain (loss)

    4,134       (144

)

Interest and other income

    79       31  

Interest expense, net of amounts capitalized

    (6,840

)

    (704

)

      7,513       20,722  

Income before income taxes

    15,424       18,509  

Income tax provision

    (3,783

)

    (7,415

)

Net income

    11,641       11,094  

Preferred stock dividends

    (138

)

    (138

)

Income applicable to common stockholders

  $ 11,503     $ 10,956  

Comprehensive income:

               

Net income

  $ 11,641     $ 11,094  

Unrealized holding gains (losses) on investments

    1,350       (2,831

)

Comprehensive income

  $ 12,991     $ 8,263  

Basic income per common share after preferred dividends

  $ 0.03     $ 0.04  

Diluted income per common share after preferred dividends

  $ 0.03     $ 0.04  

Weighted average number of common shares outstanding - basic

    342,666       285,171  

Weighted average number of common shares outstanding - diluted

    350,018       297,164  

 

The accompanying notes are an integral part of the interim condensed consolidated financial statements.

 

 
4

 

 

Hecla Mining Company and Subsidiaries

 

Condensed Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows (Unaudited)

(In thousands)

 

   

Three Months Ended

 
   

 

March 31, 2014

   

March 31, 2013

 

Operating activities:

               

Net income

  $ 11,641     $ 11,094  

Non-cash elements included in net income:

               

Depreciation, depletion and amortization

    26,054       14,711  

Loss (gain) on disposition of properties, plants, equipment, and mineral interests

    275       (125

)

Provision for reclamation and closure costs

    933       591  

Stock compensation

    1,065       798  

Deferred income taxes

    (2,851

)

    3,990  

Amortization of loan origination fees

    519       135  

Gain on derivative contracts

    (8,847

)

    (19,620

)

Foreign exchange gain

    (4,688

)

     

Other non-cash (gains) charges, net

    4       (11

)

Change in assets and liabilities:

               

Accounts receivable

    1,387       4,708  

Inventories

    4,669       (5,108

)

Other current and non-current assets

    923       382  

Accounts payable and accrued liabilities

    (5,416

)

    (2,712

)

Accrued payroll and related benefits

    2,721       5,046  

Accrued taxes

    4,756       (2,497

)

Accrued reclamation and closure costs and other non-current liabilities

    (2,762

)

    (22

)

Cash provided by operating activities

    30,383       11,360  

Investing activities:

               

Additions to properties, plants, equipment and mineral interests

    (26,867

)

    (25,753

)

Proceeds from disposition of properties, plants and equipment

          126  

Purchases of investments

          (2,562

)

Changes in restricted cash and investment balances

    (2,485

)

    (12

)

Net cash used in investing activities

    (29,352

)

    (28,201

)

Financing activities:

               

Acquisition of treasury shares

          (286

)

Dividends paid to common stockholders

    (857

)

    (3,565

)

Dividends paid to preferred stockholders

    (138

)

    (138

)

Debt origination fees

    (468

)

     

Repayments of capital leases

    (2,403

)

    (1,540

)

Net cash (used) provided by financing activities

    (3,866

)

    (5,529

)

Effect of exchange rates on cash

    (1,698

)

     

Net decrease in cash and cash equivalents

    (4,533

)

    (22,370

)

Cash and cash equivalents at beginning of period

    212,175       190,984  

Cash and cash equivalents at end of period

  $ 207,642     $ 168,614  

Significant non-cash investing and financing activities:

               

Addition of capital lease obligations

  $ 2,194     $ 6,725  

Increase to asset retirement obligations

  $ 8,210     $  

Payment of accrued compensation in restricted stock units

  $ 4,600     $  

 

The accompanying notes are an integral part of the interim condensed consolidated financial statements.

 

 
5

 

 

Note 1.    Basis of Preparation of Financial Statements

 

In the opinion of management, the accompanying unaudited interim condensed consolidated financial statements and notes to the interim condensed consolidated financial statements contain all adjustments, consisting of normal recurring items, necessary to present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of Hecla Mining Company and its consolidated subsidiaries (“we” or “our” or “us”).  These unaudited interim condensed consolidated financial statements should be read in conjunction with our audited consolidated financial statements and related footnotes as set forth in our annual report filed on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2013, as it may be amended from time to time.

 

The results of operations for the periods presented may not be indicative of those which may be expected for a full year.  The unaudited interim condensed consolidated financial statements have been prepared pursuant to the rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission.  Certain information and footnote disclosures normally included in audited financial statements prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles in the United States (“GAAP”) have been condensed or omitted pursuant to those rules and regulations, although we believe that the disclosures are adequate for the information not to be misleading.

 

The preparation of financial statements in conformity with GAAP requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities as of the date of the financial statements, the reported amounts of revenues and expenses during the reporting period and the disclosures of contingent liabilities.  Accordingly, ultimate results could differ materially from those estimates.

 

On June 1, 2013, we completed the acquisition of Aurizon Mines Ltd. ("Aurizon"), giving us 100% ownership of the Casa Berardi mine and various other interests in Quebec, Canada. The unaudited interim condensed consolidated financial statements included herein reflect our ownership of the assets previously held by Aurizon as of the June 1, 2013 acquisition date. We have determined that the functional currency for our Canadian operations acquired from Aurizon is the U.S. dollar.

 

 

Note 2.    Investments and Restricted Cash

 

Investments

 

At March 31, 2014 and December 31, 2013, the fair value of our non-current investments was $8.7 million and $7.0 million, respectively.  Our non-current investments consist of marketable equity securities, which are carried at fair value as they are classified as “available-for-sale.” The cost basis of our non-current investments was approximately $9.5 million and $10.0 million at March 31, 2014 and December 31, 2013, respectively.

 

At March 31, 2014, total unrealized loss positions of $1.7 million, net of unrealized gains of $0.9 million, for our non-current investments were included in accumulated other comprehensive loss on our condensed consolidated balance sheet.

 

Our non-current investments balance as of March 31, 2014 includes our ownership of approximately 29.4% of the

outstanding common shares of Typhoon Exploration Inc. having a cost basis of $0.7 million and fair value of $1.7 million. We elected to apply the fair value option accounting method to the investment upon it meeting the criteria for equity method accounting during the second quarter of 2013. Since the acquisition, we have unrealized gains of $0.9 million that are included in unrealized gain (loss) on investments on our condensed consolidated statement of operations and comprehensive income. We evaluate the accounting treatment of our individual investments based on whether we believe our ownership percentage and other factors indicate that we have the ability to exercise significant influence in the financial and/or operational decisions of the investee. As of March 31, 2014, we have determined that no other investments held by us qualify for equity method accounting.

 

Restricted Cash and Investments

 

Various laws, permits, and covenants require that financial assurances be in place for certain environmental and reclamation obligations and other potential liabilities.  These restricted investments are used primarily for reclamation funding or for funding surety bonds, and were $7.7 million and $5.2 million at March 31, 2014 and December 31, 2013, respectively. Restricted investments primarily represent investments in money market funds and certificates of deposit.  

 

 
6

 

 

Note 3.   Income Taxes

 

Major components of our income tax provision for the three months ended March 31, 2014 and 2013 are as follows (in thousands):

 

   

Three Months Ended

 
   

March 31,

 
   

2014

   

2013

 

Current:

               

Domestic

  $ 6,499     $ 3,137  

Foreign

    156       115  

Total current income tax provision

    6,655       3,252  
                 

Deferred:

               

Domestic

    (3,130

)

    4,163  

Foreign

    258        

Total deferred income tax provision

    (2,872

)

    4,163  

Total income tax provision

  $ 3,783     $ 7,415  

 

As of March 31, 2014, we have a net deferred tax asset in the U.S. of $117.6 million and a net deferred tax liability in Canada of $160.8 million for a consolidated worldwide net deferred tax liability of $43.2 million. Our ability to utilize our deferred tax assets depends on future taxable income generated from operations. For the three months ended March 31, 2014, there were no circumstances that caused us to change our assessment of the ability to generate sufficient future taxable income to realize the currently recognized U.S. deferred tax assets.  At March 31, 2014 and December 31, 2013, the balances of the valuation allowances on our deferred tax assets were $28 million and $27 million, respectively, primarily for foreign net operating loss carryforwards. The amount of the deferred tax asset considered recoverable, however, could be reduced in the near term if estimates of future taxable income are reduced.

 

The current income tax provisions for the three months ended March 31, 2014 and 2013 vary from the amounts that would have resulted from applying the statutory income tax rate to pre-tax income primarily due to the effects of percentage depletion for all periods presented and the impact of taxation in foreign jurisdictions.

 

 

Note 4.    Commitments, Contingencies and Obligations

 

General

 

We follow the FASB Accounting Standards Codification guidance in determining our accruals and disclosures with respect to loss contingencies, and evaluate such accruals and contingencies for each reporting period. Accordingly, estimated losses from loss contingencies are accrued by a charge to income when information available prior to issuance of the financial statements indicates that it is probable that a liability could be incurred and the amount of the loss can be reasonably estimated. Legal expenses associated with the contingency are expensed as incurred. If a loss contingency is not probable or reasonably estimable, disclosure of the loss contingency is made in the financial statements when it is at least reasonably possible that a material loss could be incurred.

 

Rio Grande Silver Guaranty

 

Our wholly-owned subsidiary, Rio Grande Silver Inc. (“Rio”), is party to a joint venture with Emerald Mining & Leasing, LLC (“EML”) and certain other parties with respect to a land package in the Creede Mining District of Colorado that is adjacent to other land held by Rio. Rio holds a 70% interest in the joint venture. In connection with the joint venture, we are required to guarantee certain environmental remediation-related obligations of EML to a third party up to a maximum liability to us of $2.5 million. As of March 31, 2014, we have not been required to make any payments pursuant to the guaranty. We may be required to make payments in the future, limited to the $2.5 million maximum liability, should EML fail to meet its obligations to the third party. However, to the extent that any payments are made by us under the guaranty, EML, in addition to other parties, have jointly and severally agreed to reimburse and indemnify us for any such payments. We have not recorded a liability relating to the guaranty as of March 31, 2014.

 

 
7

 

 

Lucky Friday Water Permit Matters

 

Over the last several years, the Lucky Friday unit has experienced several regulatory issues relating to its water discharge permits and water management more generally.

 

 

In late 2008 and during 2009, Hecla Limited experienced a number of alleged permit exceedances for water discharges at the Lucky Friday unit. These alleged violations resulted in Hecla Limited entering into a Consent Agreement and Final Order (“CAFO”) and a Compliance Order with the EPA in April 2009, which included an extended compliance time line. In connection with the CAFO, Hecla Limited agreed to pay the maximum administrative penalty to the EPA of $177,500 to settle any liability for such alleged exceedances.

 

 

In 2009, additional alleged permit exceedances for water discharges at the Lucky Friday unit occurred. In 2010, alleged unpermitted discharges of pollutants occurred at the Lucky Friday unit. These alleged permit exceedances and certain alleged unpermitted discharges were the subject of a December 2010 Notice of Violation (“2010 NOV”) from the EPA informing Hecla Limited that the EPA was prepared to seek civil penalties for these alleged violations. In the 2010 NOV, the EPA invited Hecla Limited to discuss these matters with them prior to filing a complaint. Hecla Limited disputes many of EPA's assertions, but initiated negotiations with the EPA in an attempt to resolve the matter. There has not been any resolution of the 2010 NOV.

 

 

In 2012, the Lucky Friday unit had two weekly water samples, one of which in October exceeded the permit concentration limit for lead (but not the associated load limit), and one of which in November exceeded permit limits for zinc. Also in October and November, heavy rains resulted in alleged impacted storm water being discharged to a nearby river. After these incidents, in February 2013, the EPA issued a notice of violation and request for information to Hecla Limited alleging that the October and November 2012 storm water incidents were each a violation of Hecla Limited's storm water permit. In March 2014, the Lucky Friday unit had a weekly water sample which exceeded the maximum daily permitted limit for zinc.

 

The EPA referred the two alleged 2012 permit exceedances, along with the alleged violations in the 2010 NOV and some additional alleged unpermitted discharges from 2010 that were not included in the 2010 NOV, to the U.S. Department of Justice to possibly file a civil complaint by the United States against Hecla Limited. In addition, it is possible that the United States may include other alleged unpermitted discharges (including the 2012 storm water incidents) or permit violations in any complaint. There is the potential for larger civil penalties in the context of a United States complaint than in an administrative action by the EPA such as the 2009 CAFO.

 

In December 2013, the EPA issued to Hecla Limited a Notice of Violation (“2013 NOV”) alleging certain storm water reporting violations under Lucky Friday’s Clean Water Act Multi-Sector General Stormwater Permit for Industrial Activities. The 2013 NOV also contains a request for information under Section 308 of the Clean Water Act directing Hecla Limited to undertake a comprehensive groundwater investigation of Lucky Friday’s tailings pond No. 3 to evaluate whether the pond is causing the discharge of pollutants via seepage to groundwater that is discharging to surface water. We cannot ascertain what impacts, if any, the 2013 NOV and request for information will have on the matters that were already pending with the United States, including the 2010 NOV.

 

Hecla Limited strives to maintain its water discharges and water management in general at the Lucky Friday unit in full compliance with its permits and applicable laws; however, we cannot provide assurances that it will be able to fully comply with the permit limits and other regulatory requirements regarding water management in the future.

 

We believe that it is reasonably possible that Hecla Limited faces some liability for the above water issues; however, we cannot with reasonable certainty estimate the amount of any such liability because, for among other reasons, we have not completed the report called for by the request for information contained in the 2013 NPOV, and we do not know what will be the impact of that report.

  

 
8

 

 

Johnny M Mine Area near San Mateo, McKinley County, New Mexico

 

In May 2011, the EPA made a formal request to Hecla Mining Company for information regarding the Johnny M Mine Area near San Mateo, McKinley County, New Mexico, and asserted that Hecla Mining Company may be responsible under CERCLA for environmental remediation and past costs the EPA has incurred at the site. Mining at the Johnny M was conducted for a limited period of time by a predecessor of our subsidiary, Hecla Limited. In August 2012, Hecla Limited and the EPA entered into a Settlement Agreement and Administrative Order on Consent for Removal Action (“Consent Decree”), pursuant to which Hecla Limited agreed to pay (i) $1.1 million to the EPA for its past response costs at the site and (ii) any future response costs at the site, in exchange for a covenant not to sue by the EPA. The Consent Decree also describes additional work at the site to be conducted by Hecla Limited. Hecla Limited paid the $1.1 million to the EPA for its past response costs in the fourth quarter of 2012, and our consolidated financial statements as of March 31, 2014 include an accrual balance by Hecla Limited of $0.3 million for investigation and planning costs. Hecla Limited cannot reasonably estimate the amount of any additional liability it may face at the site until, at a minimum, the amount and type of remediation required have been determined or if EPA seeks reimbursement for additional past costs.

 

Carpenter Snow Creek Site, Cascade County, Montana

 

In July 2010, the EPA made a formal request to Hecla Mining Company for information regarding the Carpenter Snow Creek Superfund Site located in Cascade County, Montana. The Carpenter Snow Creek Site is located in a historic mining district, and in the early 1980s Hecla Limited leased 6 mining claims and performed limited exploration activities at the site. Hecla Limited terminated the mining lease in 1988.

 

In June 2011, the EPA informed Hecla Limited that it believes Hecla Limited, among several other viable companies, may be liable for cleanup of the site or for costs incurred by the EPA in cleaning up the site. The EPA stated in the June 2011 letter that it has incurred approximately $4.5 million in response costs and estimated that total remediation costs may exceed $100 million. Because Hecla Limited had very limited activity at the site, we do not believe that the outcome of the claim will have a material adverse effect on our results of operations or financial position. Hecla Limited cannot with reasonable certainty estimate the ultimate liability, if any, relating to this matter.

 

States of South Dakota and Colorado Superfund Sites Related to CoCa Mines, Inc.

 

In 1991, Hecla Limited acquired all of the outstanding common stock of CoCa Mines, Inc. (“CoCa”). CoCa is alleged to have engaged in exploration at the Gilt Edge Mine in South Dakota as well as in the area adjacent to the Nelson Tunnel property in Creede, Colorado.

 

Gilt Edge Mine Superfund Site

 

In August 2008, the EPA made a formal request to CoCa for information regarding the Gilt Edge Mine Site located in Lawrence County, South Dakota, and asserted that CoCa may be liable for environmental cleanup at the site. The Gilt Edge Mine Site was explored and/or mined beginning in the 1890s. In the early 1980s, CoCa was involved in a joint venture that conducted a limited program of exploration work at the site. This joint venture terminated in 1984, and by 1985 CoCa had divested itself of any interest in the property.

 

In July 2010 the United States informed CoCa that it intends to pursue CoCa and several other potentially responsible parties on a joint and several basis for liability for past and future response costs at Gilt Edge under CERCLA. Currently, the United States alleges that CoCa is liable based on participation in the joint venture, and that CoCa has succeeded to the liabilities of its predecessor, Congdon & Carey, which may have held certain property interests at the site.

 

 As of mid-2013, the United States has alleged that estimated total costs associated with the site may exceed $191 million, including both past and future response costs. Hecla Limited did not acquire CoCa until 1991, well after CoCa discontinued its involvement with the Gilt Edge site. In addition, CoCa is and always has been a separate corporate entity from Hecla Limited. Therefore, we believe that Hecla Limited is not liable for any cleanup at the Gilt Edge site. We believe that it is reasonably possible that CoCa faces some liability for the site; however, we cannot with reasonable certainty estimate the ultimate amount of any such liability. Furthermore, in the event CoCa incurs a liability at this site, it has limited assets with which to satisfy any such liability. Because of CoCa's limited assets, we believe that it is possible that the United States will seek to recover some of the alleged $191 million in costs associated with the site from Hecla Limited, as the parent corporation of CoCa. We believe Hecla Limited would have strong defenses to such a claim and would vigorously defend against any such claims. Settlement negotiations with the United States commenced in 2010 and are ongoing, but there can be no assurance such negotiations will be successful, or that Hecla Limited will not incur a material liability with respect to this site.

  

 
9

 

 

Nelson Tunnel/Commodore Waste Rock Pile Superfund Site

 

In August 2009, the EPA made a formal request to CoCa for information regarding the Nelson Tunnel/Commodore Waste Rock Pile Superfund Site in Creede, Colorado. A timely response was provided and the EPA later arranged to copy additional documents. CoCa was involved in exploration and mining activities in Creede during the 1970s and the 1980s. In September 2013, the EPA made a formal claim against CoCa for past response costs under CERCLA as an owner/operator of the site, and against Hecla Limited as a corporate successor to CoCa. The EPA is seeking a total of approximately $5 million for past response costs, plus an undetermined amount of interest from CoCa, Hecla Limited, and other potentially responsible parties. The EPA stated that it is continuing its remedial investigation/feasibility study at the site, and once that is complete, it will begin remedial design and remedial action for the site. Presumably, the EPA will also seek reimbursement of at least some of those costs from viable potentially responsible parties. In April 2014, CoCa received notice from another potentially responsible party alleging that CoCa is required to indemnify it in connection with any liability it may have with respect to the Nelson/Commodore site. Hecla Limited did not acquire CoCa until 1991, well after CoCa discontinued its historical activities in the vicinity of the site. In addition, CoCa is and always has been a separate corporate entity from Hecla Limited. Therefore, we believe that Hecla Limited is not liable for any cleanup, has strong defenses, and we will vigorously defend against the claim. If CoCa is ultimately found to be liable, it has limited assets with which to satisfy any such liability. We cannot with reasonable certainty estimate the ultimate liability, if any, relating to this matter, and therefore we have not recorded a liability relating to the site as of March 31, 2014.

 

Senior Notes

 

On January 6, 2014, we completed the offer to exchange up to $500,000,000 aggregate principal amount of our new 6.875% Senior Notes due 2021 for a like principal amount of our previously outstanding 6.875% Senior Notes due 2021, which were issued on April 12, 2013 ("Notes"), as further discussed in Note 9. Interest on the Notes is payable on May 1 and November 1 of each year, commencing November 1, 2013. The net proceeds from the offering of the Notes were used to partially fund the acquisition of Aurizon Mines Ltd. ("Aurizon") and for general corporate purposes, including expenses related to the Aurizon acquisition.

 

Other Commitments

 

Our contractual obligations as of March 31, 2014 included approximately $5.9 million for various non-capital costs. In addition, our open purchase orders at March 31, 2014 included approximately $0.8 million, $0.3 million, and $1.4 million, respectively, for various capital items at the Casa Berardi, Greens Creek, and Lucky Friday units, and approximately $1.3 million, $0.4 million, and $0.5 million, respectively, for various non-capital costs at such units. We also have total commitments of approximately $23.6 million relating to scheduled payments on capital leases, including interest, primarily for equipment at our Greens Creek and Lucky Friday units (see Note 9 for more information). In addition, in 2011, we settled Hecla Limited's Coeur d'Alene Basin environmental litigation and related claims pursuant to a Consent Decree entered by the Court on September 8, 2011.  Hecla Limited remains obligated under the Consent Decree to make payments totaling $55.4 million by August 2014, which would be funded by proceeds from our outstanding warrants, if exercised (see Note 8 for more information). Under the terms of the Consent Decree, the proceeds from the exercise of our outstanding warrants will be paid to the United States and the Coeur d'Alene Indian Tribe within 30 days after the end of the quarter when exercised. If the warrants are not exercised, the company is responsible for its final payment under the Consent Decree.

 

We had letters of credit for approximately $1.3 million outstanding as of March 31, 2014 for workers' compensation insurance bonding.

 

Other Contingencies

 

Hecla was named as a nominal defendant in a stockholder derivative lawsuit in federal court which named as defendants certain Hecla executives and members of Hecla's Board of Directors. The case was In Re Hecla Mining Company Derivative Shareholder Litigation, Case No. 2:12-cv-00097 (D. Idaho).  In general terms, this lawsuit alleged breaches of fiduciary duties by the individual defendants relating to past operational issues at the Lucky Friday mine and sought damages, purportedly on behalf of Hecla. The lawsuit was dismissed on February 20, 2014, and the Court gave the plaintiffs until April 21, 2014 to file an amended complaint. No amended complaint was filed, and on April 21, 2014, the Court issued a final order dismissing the case with prejudice.

 

In March 2012, Hecla Limited received notice of a complaint filed against it by the United Steel Workers, Local 5114, with the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission for compensation for bargaining unit workers at the Lucky Friday mine idled as a result of the temporary suspension of production at the mine. The complaint alleges the bargaining unit workers are entitled to compensation under Section 111 of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 from November 16, 2011 - the date an order was issued by the Mine Safety Health Administration (“MSHA”) to Hecla Limited - until such time as the order is terminated. We submitted a motion for summary decision to the administrative law judge within the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission, which was denied in December 2012. Currently we are awaiting further proceedings. We believe the claim is without merit, and that all wages due under Section 111, which was an immaterial amount, have already been paid. Therefore, we have not recorded a liability relating to the claim as of March 31, 2014. The value of the union's claim is estimated to be in the range of $0 to $10 million.

 

 
10

 

 

We are subject to other legal proceedings and claims which arise from time to time. These can include, but are not limited to, legal proceedings and/or claims pertaining to environmental or safety matters. For example, in April 2011, a fatal accident occurred at the Lucky Friday mine which was investigated by MSHA. In November 2011, an accident occurred as part of the construction of #4 Shaft which resulted in the fatality of one contractor employee. In an unrelated incident, in December 2011, a rock burst occurred in a primary access way at the Lucky Friday mine and injured seven employees, none fatally. At the end of 2011, MSHA began a special impact investigation at the Lucky Friday mine which resulted in an order to remove built-up cementitious material from the Silver Shaft, the primary access way from the surface at the Lucky Friday mine. As a result of MSHA's investigations related to these events, Hecla Limited has been issued monetary penalties (none of which are material, individually or in the aggregate), and may face additional enforcement actions, including additional monetary penalties from MSHA or other governmental agencies. Although there can be no assurance as to the ultimate disposition of these other matters, we believe they will not have a material adverse effect on our results of operations or financial position.

 

On April 12, 2013, the family of Larry Marek, an employee of Hecla Limited who was fatally injured in the April 2011 accident, filed a lawsuit against us and certain of our officers and employees seeking damages for, among other claims, wrongful death and infliction of emotional distress. No dollar amount of damages is specified in the complaint, which was filed in state court in Idaho (Kootenai County District Court). We cannot reasonably predict the outcome of this matter, however, we believe the case is without merit and intend to vigorously defend this lawsuit.

 

On December 11, 2013, four employees of Hecla Limited who were injured in the December 2011 rock burst filed a lawsuit against us and certain of our employees seeking damages for, among other claims, intentional and willful injury and infliction of emotional distress. The plaintiffs seek damages in excess of $1,000,000, as claimed in the complaint, which was filed in state court in Idaho (Kootenai County District Court). We cannot reasonably predict the outcome of this matter, however, we believe the case is without merit and intend to vigorously defend this lawsuit.

 

 

Note 5.    Earnings Per Common Share

 

We are authorized to issue 500,000,000 shares of common stock, $0.25 par value per share. At March 31, 2014, there were 343,772,939 shares of our common stock issued and 932,811 shares issued and held in treasury, for a net of 342,840,128 shares outstanding.

 

 

 
11

 

 

The following table reconciles weighted average common shares used in the computations of basic and diluted earnings per share for the three-month periods ended March 31, 2014 and 2013 (thousands, except per-share amounts):

 

 

   

Three Months Ended

March 31,

 
   

2014

   

2013

 

Numerator

               

Net income

  $ 11,641     $ 11,094  

Preferred stock dividends

    (138

)

    (138

)

Net income applicable to common shares for basic and diluted earnings per share

  $ 11,503     $ 10,956  
                 

Denominator

               

Basic weighted average common shares

    342,666       285,171  

Dilutive stock options and restricted stock

    7,352       11,993  

Diluted weighted average common shares

    350,018       297,164  

Basic earnings per common share

               

Net income applicable to common shares

  $ 0.03     $ 0.04  

Diluted earnings per common share

               

Net income applicable to common shares

  $ 0.03     $ 0.04  

 

Diluted income per share for the three months ended March 31, 2014 and 2013 excludes the potential effects of outstanding shares of our convertible preferred stock, as their conversion and exercise would have no effect on the calculation of dilutive shares.

 

Options to purchase 612,745 shares of our common stock were excluded from the computation of diluted earnings per share for the three-month period ended March 31, 2014.  For the three-month period ended March 31, 2013, options to purchase 537,005 shares of our common stock were excluded from the computation of diluted earnings per share.  In each case, the exercise price of the options not included in the computations of diluted earnings per share exceeded the average price of our stock during those periods and therefore would not affect the calculation of earnings per share.

 

 

Note 6.    Business Segments

 

We are currently organized and managed in three reporting segments: the Greens Creek unit, the Lucky Friday unit and the Casa Berardi unit. On June 1, 2013 we completed the acquisition of Aurizon, giving us 100% ownership of the Casa Berardi mine in Quebec, Canada. As a result, we added a new reporting segment for the Casa Berardi unit.

 

General corporate activities not associated with operating units and their various exploration activities, as well as discontinued operations and idle properties, are presented as “other.”  Interest expense, interest income and income taxes are considered general corporate items, and are not allocated to our segments.

  

 
12

 

 

The following tables present information about reportable segments for the three months ended March 31, 2014 and 2013 (in thousands):

 

 

   

Three Months Ended

March 31,

 
   

2014

   

2013

 

Net sales to unaffiliated customers:

               

Greens Creek

  $ 63,596     $ 72,649  

Lucky Friday

    20,096       3,801  

Casa Berardi

    42,095        
    $ 125,787     $ 76,450  

Income (loss) from operations:

               

Greens Creek

  $ 11,046     $ 27,189  

Lucky Friday

    4,700       (3,847

)

Casa Berardi

    3,441        

Other

    (11,276

)

    (25,555

)

    $ 7,911     $ (2,213

)

 

The following table presents identifiable assets by reportable segment as of March 31, 2014 and December 31, 2013 (in thousands):

 

   

March 31, 2014

 

December 31, 2013

Identifiable assets:

                   

Greens Creek

  $ 746,357       $ 744,027    

Lucky Friday

    325,927         313,793    

Casa Berardi

    805,166         821,058    

Other

    372,831         353,241    
    $ 2,250,281       $ 2,232,119    

  

Note 7.   Employee Benefit Plans

 

We sponsor defined benefit pension plans covering substantially all U.S. employees.  Net periodic pension cost for the plans consisted of the following for the three months ended March 31, 2014 and 2013 (in thousands):

 

 

   

Three Months Ended

March 31,

 
   

2014

   

2013

 

Service cost

  $ 1,020     $ 1,057  

Interest cost

    1,186       970  

Expected return on plan assets

    (1,249

)

    (1,204

)

Amortization of prior service cost (benefit)

    (84

)

    97  

Amortization of net loss

    756       776  

Net periodic benefit cost

  $ 1,629     $ 1,696  

 

In April 2014, we contributed $2.0 million, par value, of our Senior Notes to our funded pension plan, and expect to contribute a total of $7.5 million, par value, over the course of 2014 (see Note 9 for more information). We anticipate that the Notes contributed will be sold by the plan. We expect to contribute approximately $0.3 million to our unfunded supplemental executive retirement plan in 2014.

 

 
13

 

  

Note 8.    Stockholders’ Equity

 

Share-based Compensation Plans

 

We periodically grant restricted stock unit awards and/or shares of common stock to our employees and directors. Grants to individual executives upon hiring or retention vest over a defined service period, with cost amortized over that period. We measure compensation cost for restricted stock units and stock grants at the closing price of our stock at the time of grant. Restricted stock unit grants vest after a specified period with compensation cost amortized over that period. Previously, we also granted stock options, but currently do not. Although we have no current plans to issue stock options, we may do so in the future.

 

On March 3, 2014, the Board of Directors granted 1,345,072 restricted stock units to employees for payment of annual and long-term incentive compensation for the period ended December 31, 2013. The restricted stock units will be distributed in August 2014, and the $4.6 million in expense related to the unit awards has been recognized as of March 31, 2014.

 

Stock-based compensation expense for restricted stock unit grants to employees and shares issued to nonemployee directors recorded in the first three months of 2014 totaled $1.1 million, compared to $0.8 million in the same period last year.

 

In connection with the vesting of restricted stock units, employees have in the past, at their election and when permitted by us, chosen to satisfy their minimum tax withholding obligations through net share settlement, pursuant to which the Company withholds the number of shares necessary to satisfy such withholding obligations.  As a result, in the first quarter of 2014 we repurchased 11,090 shares for approximately $40,000, or approximately $3.57 per share.

 

Common Stock Dividends

 

In September 2011 and February 2012, our Board of Directors adopted a common stock dividend policy that has two components: (1) a dividend that links the amount of dividends on our common stock to our average quarterly realized silver price in the preceding quarter, and (2) a minimum annual dividend of $0.01 per share of common stock, in each case, payable quarterly, when and if declared by the Board. For illustrative purposes only, the table below summarizes potential per share dividend amounts at different quarterly average realized price levels according to the first component of the policy:

 

Quarterly average realized silver price per ounce

 

Quarterly dividend per share

   

Annualized dividend per share

 

$30

  $ 0.01     $ 0.04  

$35

  $ 0.02     $ 0.08  

$40

  $ 0.03     $ 0.12  

$45

  $ 0.04     $ 0.16  

$50

  $ 0.05     $ 0.20  

$55

  $ 0.06     $ 0.24  

$60

  $ 0.07     $ 0.28  

 

On May 5, 2014, our Board of Directors declared a dividend on common stock, pursuant to the minimum annual dividend component of the policy described above, of $0.0025 per share, for a total dividend of $0.9 million payable in June 2014. Because the average realized silver price for the first quarter of 2014 was $20.04 per ounce, below the minimum threshold of $30 according to the policy, no silver-price-linked component was declared or paid. The declaration and payment of common stock dividends is at the sole discretion of our Board of Directors.

 

Status of Warrants

 

The following table summarizes certain information about our stock purchase warrants at March 31, 2014:

 

 

Warrants Outstanding

 

Warrants

 

Exercise Price

  Expiration Date  

Series 1 warrants

    5,200,519       $ 2.40    

June 2014

Series 1 warrants

    460,976         2.51    

June 2014

Series 3 warrants

    16,646,128         2.45    

August 2014

Total warrants outstanding

    22,307,623                

  

 
14

 

 

No warrants were exercised during the first three months of 2014.  Under the financial terms of the Consent Decree settling the Coeur d’Alene Basin litigation, the proceeds from the exercise of our outstanding warrants will be paid to the United States and the Coeur d'Alene Indian Tribe within 30 days after the end of the quarter when exercised. To the extent warrants are not exercised, we are responsible for the final payment under the Consent Decree.  

 

Common Stock Repurchase Program

 

On May 8, 2012, we announced that our Board of Directors approved a stock repurchase program.  Under the program, we are authorized to repurchase up to 20 million shares of our outstanding common stock from time to time in open market or privately negotiated transactions, depending on prevailing market conditions and other factors.  The repurchase program may be modified, suspended or discontinued by us at any time. Whether or not to engage in repurchases from time to time may depend on a variety of factors, including not only price and cash resources, but customary black-out restrictions, whether we have any material inside information, limitations on share repurchases or cash usage that may be imposed by our credit agreement or in connection with issuances of securities, alternative uses for cash, applicable law, and other investment opportunities from time to time. As of March 31, 2014, 400,300 shares have been purchased at an average price of $5.56 per share, leaving 19.6 million shares that may yet be purchased under the program. The closing price of our common stock at May 2, 2014, was $3.11 per share.

 

 

Note 9.    Senior Notes, Credit Facilities and Capital Leases

 

Senior Notes

 

On April 12, 2013, we completed an offering of $500 million in aggregate principal amount of our Senior Notes due May 1, 2021 (the “Notes”) in a private placement conducted pursuant to Rule 144A and Regulation S under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended. The Notes are governed by the Indenture, dated as of April 12, 2013 (the “Indenture”), among us and certain of our subsidiaries and The Bank of New York Mellon Trust Company, N.A., as trustee.

 

The Notes are recorded net of a 2% initial purchaser discount totaling $10 million at the time of issuance and having an unamortized balance of $9.0 million as of March 31, 2014. The Notes bear interest at a rate of 6.875% per year from the date of original issuance or from the most recent payment date to which interest has been paid or provided for.  Interest on the Notes is payable on May 1 and November 1 of each year, commencing November 1, 2013. During the first quarter of 2014, interest expense related to the notes and amortization of the initial purchaser discount and fees related to the issuance of the notes, net of $2.7 million in capitalized interest, totaled $6.3 million.

 

The Notes are guaranteed on a senior unsecured basis by certain of our subsidiaries (the "Guarantors").   The Notes and the guarantees will be, respectively, our and the Guarantors' general senior unsecured obligations and will be subordinated to all of our and the Guarantors' existing and future secured debt to the extent of the assets securing that secured debt.  In addition, the Notes will be effectively subordinated to all of the liabilities of our subsidiaries that are not guaranteeing the Notes, to the extent of the assets of those subsidiaries.

 

The net proceeds from the offering of the Notes ($490 million) were used to partially fund the acquisition of Aurizon and for general corporate purposes, including expenses related to the Aurizon acquisition.

 

The Notes will be redeemable in whole or in part, at any time and from time to time on or after May 1, 2016, on the redemption dates and at the redemption prices specified in the Indenture, plus accrued and unpaid interest, if any, to the date of redemption.  Prior to May 1, 2016, we may redeem some or all of the Notes at a redemption price of 100% of the principal amount, plus accrued and unpaid interest, if any, to the redemption date, plus a “make whole” premium.  We may redeem up to 35% of the Notes before May 1, 2016 with the net cash proceeds from certain equity offerings.

 

Upon the occurrence of a change of control (as defined in the Indenture), each holder of Notes will have the right to require us to purchase all or a portion of such holder's Notes pursuant to a change of control offer (as defined in the Indenture), at a purchase price equal to 101% of the principal amount thereof plus accrued and unpaid interest, if any, to the date of purchase, subject to the rights of holders of the Notes on the relevant record date to receive interest due on the relevant interest payment date.

 

 
15

 

 

In connection with the sale of the Notes, we entered into a Registration Rights Agreement, dated as of April 12, 2013, pursuant to which we and the Guarantors agreed to exchange the Notes for a new issue of debt securities registered under the Securities Act, with terms substantially identical to those of the Notes (except with respect to certain transfer restrictions and certain obligations to pay special interest as described in the Notes). The exchange offer was completed in January 2014 with 99.99% of the Notes tendered for exchange.

 

On April 14, 2014, we entered into an agreement with the Hecla Mining Company Retirement Plan Trust pursuant to which we agreed to contribute to the trust over the course of 2014 approximately $7.5 million in aggregate principal amount of the Notes, including $2.0 million in aggregate principal amount of the Notes which were contributed on April 14, in order to satisfy the funding requirement for our funded pension plan for 2014. On the same day we filed a registration statement with the SEC for resale of the Notes that we agreed to contribute to the trust.

 

Credit Facilities

 

In February 2014, we entered into a $100 million senior secured revolving credit facility having a maturity date of August 1, 2016. The credit facility is collateralized by the shares of common stock held in our material domestic subsidiaries and by our joint venture interests in the Greens Creek mine, all of our rights and interests in the joint venture agreement, and all of our rights and interests in the assets of the joint venture.  This credit facility replaced our previous $100 million credit facility which had the same terms of collateral as described above. Below is information on the interest rates, standby fee, and financial covenant terms under our previous and current credit facilities:

 

   

Previous Facility

 

Current Facility

Interest rates:

               

Spread over the London Interbank Offer Rate

  3.00 - 4.50%   2.25  - 3.25%

Spread over alternative base rate

  2.00 - 3.50%   1.25  - 2.25%
                 

Standby fee per annum on undrawn amounts

  0.825 - 1.05%     0.50%  
                 

Covenant financial ratios:

               

Senior leverage ratio (debt secured by liens/EBITDA)

 

not more than 2.50:1

Leverage ratio (total debt less unencumbered cash/EBITDA)

 

not more than 4.00:1

Interest coverage ratio (EBITDA/interest expense)

not less than 3.00:1

 

We were in compliance with all covenants under the credit agreement and no amounts were outstanding as of March 31, 2014.  We have not drawn funds on the current revolving credit facility as of the filing date of this Form 10-Q.

 

Capital Leases

 

We have entered into various lease agreements, primarily for equipment at our Greens Creek and Lucky Friday units, which we have determined to be capital leases.  At March 31, 2014, the total liability balance associated with capital leases, including certain purchase option amounts, was $22.6 million, with $8.5 million of the liability classified as current and the remaining $14.1 million classified as non-current. At December 31, 2013, the total liability balance associated with capital leases was $22.8 million, with $8.5 million of the liability classified as current and $14.3 million classified as non-current. The total obligation for future minimum lease payments was $23.6 million at March 31, 2014, with $1.1 million attributed to interest.

 

 
16

 

  

At March 31, 2014, the annual maturities of capital lease commitments, including interest, are (in thousands):

 

 

 

Twelve-month period ending March 31,

         
 

2015

  $ 8,903    
 

2016

    8,162    
 

2017

    4,918    
 

2018

    1,601    
 

Total

    23,584    
 

Less: imputed interest

    (1,054

)

 
 

Net capital lease obligation

  $ 22,530    

 

 

Note 10.    Developments in Accounting Pronouncements

 

In July 2013, the FASB issued ASU No. 2013-11, which requires entities to present unrecognized tax benefits as a decrease in a net operating loss, similar tax loss, or tax credit carryforward if certain criteria are met. The guidance will eliminate the diversity in practice in the presentation of unrecognized tax benefits but will not alter the way in which entities assess deferred tax assets for realizability. ASU No. 2013-11 is effective for annual and interim reporting periods beginning after December 15, 2013. Adoption of this guidance has not had a material impact on our consolidated financial statements.

 

 

Note 11.    Derivative Instruments

 

At times, we use commodity forward sales commitments, commodity swap contracts and commodity put and call option contracts to manage our exposure to fluctuation in the prices of certain metals which we produce. Contract positions are designed to ensure that we will receive a defined minimum price for certain quantities of our production, thereby partially offsetting our exposure to fluctuations in the market. These instruments do, however, expose us to (i) credit risk in the event of non-performance by counterparties for contracts in which the contract price exceeds the spot price of a commodity and (ii) price risk to the extent that the spot price exceeds the contract price for quantities of our production contained under contract positions.

 

We use financially-settled forward contracts to manage the exposure to changes in metal prices of silver, gold, zinc and lead contained in our doré and concentrate shipments between the time of sale and final settlement. These contracts do not qualify for hedge accounting and are marked-to-market through earnings each period.  At March 31, 2014, we recorded a current asset of $0.9 million, net of approximately $0.4 million of contracts in a liability position, which is included in other current assets, for the fair value of the contracts.  We recognized a $19 thousand net gain on the contracts during the first three months of 2014, which is included in sales of products.  The net gain recognized on the contracts offsets price adjustments on our provisional concentrate sales related to changes to lead and zinc prices between the time of sale and final settlement.

 

In addition, we use financially-settled forward contracts to manage the exposure to changes in prices of zinc and lead (but not silver and gold) contained in our forecasted future concentrate shipments.  These contracts also do not qualify for hedge accounting and are marked-to-market through earnings each period.  At March 31, 2014, we recorded a current asset of $5.0 million, which is included in other current assets, and a non-current asset of $7.4 million, which is included in other non-current assets, for the fair value of the contracts.  The non-current asset balance is net of approximately $0.2 million for contracts that were in a fair value liability position at March 31, 2014. We recognized a $9.5 million net gain on the contracts, which includes $2.0 million in gains realized on settled contracts, during the first three months of 2014. The net gain on these contracts is included as a separate line item under other income (expense), as they relate to forecasted future shipments, as opposed to sales that have already taken place but are subject to final pricing.  The gains recognized during the first three months of 2014 are the result of decreasing lead and zinc prices during the quarter and contacts with settlement prices that are higher than spot prices.  This program is designed and intended to mitigate the impact of potential future declines in lead and zinc prices from the price levels established in the contracts (see average price information below).

  

 
17

 

 

The following tables summarize the quantities of base metals committed under forward sales contracts at March 31, 2014 and December 31, 2013:

 

 

March 31, 2014   Ounces/pounds under contract (in 000's)     Average price per ounce/pound  
    Silver     Gold     Zinc     Lead     Silver     Gold     Zinc     Lead  
    (ounces)     (ounces)     (pounds)     (pounds)     (ounces)     (ounces)     (pounds)     (pounds)  

Contracts on provisional sales

                                                               
2014 settlements     1,590       7       29,817       9,755     $ 20.15     1,304     $ 0.91     $ 0.95  
                                                                 

Contracts on forecasted sales

                                                               
2014 settlements                 29,652       21,054     N/A     N/A     $ 0.99     $ 1.05  
2015 settlements                 45,635       40,179     N/A     N/A     $ 0.96     $ 1.07  
2016 settlements                 9,094       31,030     N/A     N/A     $ 0.94     $ 1.03  

  

 

    Ounces/pounds under contract (in 000's)     Average price per ounce/pound  
    Silver     Gold     Zinc     Lead     Silver     Gold     Zinc     Lead  
    (ounces)     (ounces)     (pounds)     (pounds)     (ounces)     (ounces)     (pounds)     (pounds)  
Contracts on provisional sales                                                                
2014 settlements     673       3       11,188       3,472     $ 19.50     $ 1,205     $ 0.89     $ 1.00  
                                                                 

Contracts on forecasted sales

                                                               
2014 settlements                 31,967       34,282     N/A     N/A     $ 1.00     $ 1.04  
2015 settlements                 39,683       36,982     N/A     N/A     $ 0.96     $ 1.07  
2016 settlements                 3,803       30,589     N/A     N/A     $ 0.96     $ 1.03  

 

Our concentrate sales are based on a provisional sales price containing an embedded derivative that is required to be separated from the host contract for accounting purposes. The host contract is the receivable from the sale of the concentrates at the forward price at the time of the sale. The embedded derivative, which does not qualify for hedge accounting, is adjusted to market through earnings each period prior to final settlement.

  

 
18

 

 

Note 12.    Fair Value Measurement

 

The table below sets forth our assets and liabilities that were accounted for at fair value on a recurring basis and the fair value calculation input hierarchy level that we have determined applies to each asset and liability category (in thousands).

 

Description

 

Balance at

March 31, 2014

 

Balance at

December 31, 2013

 

Input

Hierarchy Level

Assets:

                     

Cash and cash equivalents:

                     

Money market funds and other bank deposits

  $ 207,642       $ 212,175    

Level 1

Available for sale securities:

                     

Equity securities – mining industry

    8,730         7,019    

Level 1

Trade accounts receivable:

                     

Receivables from provisional concentrate sales

    26,159         17,672    

Level 2

Restricted cash balances:

                     

Certificates of deposit and other bank deposits

    7,702         5,217    

Level 1

Derivative contracts:

                     

Metal forward contracts

    13,308         4,461    

Level 2

Total assets

  $ 263,541       $ 246,544      

 

Cash and cash equivalents consist primarily of money market funds and are valued at cost, which approximates fair value.

 

Current and non-current restricted cash balances consist primarily of certificates of deposit and U.S. Treasury securities and are valued at cost, which approximates fair value.

 

Our current and non-current investments consist of marketable equity securities which are valued using quoted market prices for each security.

 

Trade accounts receivable include amounts due to us for shipments of concentrates and doré sold to smelters and refiners.  Revenues and the corresponding accounts receivable for sales of concentrates and doré are recorded when title and risk of loss transfer to the customer (generally at the time of loading on truck or ship).  Sales of concentrates are recorded using estimated forward prices for the anticipated month of settlement applied to our estimate of payable metal quantities contained in each shipment.  Sales are recorded net of estimated treatment and refining charges, which are also impacted by changes in metals prices and quantities of contained metals.  We estimate the prices at which sales of our concentrates will be settled due to the time elapsed between shipment and final settlement with the smelter.  Receivables for previously recorded concentrate sales are adjusted to reflect estimated forward metals prices at the end of each period until final settlement by the smelter.  We obtain the forward metals prices used each period from a pricing service.  Changes in metal prices between shipment and final settlement result in changes to revenues previously recorded upon shipment.  The embedded derivative contained in our concentrate sales is adjusted to fair market value through earnings each period prior to final settlement.

 

We utilize financially-settled forward contracts to manage the exposure to changes in prices of zinc and lead contained in our concentrate shipments that have not reached final settlement.  We also utilize financially-settled forward contracts to manage the exposure to changes in prices of zinc and lead contained in our forecasted future concentrate shipments. In the third quarter of 2013, we began to also utilize financially-settled forward contracts to manage the exposure to changes in prices of silver and gold in our concentrate shipments (see Note 11 for more information). These contracts do not qualify for hedge accounting, and are marked-to-market through earnings each period.  The fair value of each contract represents the difference between the forward metal price for the contract settlement period as of the measurement date and the contract settlement metal price, multiplied by the quantity of metal involved in the contract.

 

Our Senior Notes issued in April 2013, which were recorded at their carrying value of $491.0 million, net of unamortized initial purchaser discount at March 31, 2014, had a fair value of $488.8 million at March 31, 2014. Quoted market prices, which we consider to be Level 1 inputs, are utilized to estimate fair values of the Notes. In January 2014, we completed an exchange offer to register the Notes under the Securities Act, with 99.99% of the Notes tendered for exchange. Prior to completion of the exchange offer, the fair value of the Notes was estimated using third-party quotes which we considered to be Level 2 inputs. See Note 9 for more information.

  

 
19

 

 

Note 13. Asset Retirement Obligations

 

Below is a reconciliation as of March 31, 2014 and December 31, 2013 (in thousands) of the asset retirement obligations ("ARO") relating to our operating properties. These ARO balances are included in our total accrued reclamation and closure costs of $114.0 million and $105.2 million as of March 31, 2014 and December 31, 2013, respectively. Our accrued reclamation and closure cost balances include AROs and estimated liabilities for settlement obligations and contingencies for environmental matters and reclamation costs at idle properties. Our ARO balances represent the present value of estimated future costs of reclamation and closure activities at our operating properties. The estimated reclamation and closure costs were discounted using credit adjusted, risk-free interest rates ranging from 4% to 7% from the time we incurred the obligation to the time we expect to pay the retirement obligation.

 

 

   

2014

   

2013

 

Balance, January 1

  $ 43,244     $ 34,325  

Changes in obligations due to changes in reclamation plans

    8,210        

Addition due to acquisition of the Casa Berardi unit

          7,998  

Accretion expense

    682       1,958  

Payment of reclamation obligations

    (28

)

    (1,037

)

Balance, end of period

  $ 52,108     $ 43,244  

 

In the fourth quarter of 2012, we updated our ARO at Greens Creek to reflect a preliminary revised reclamation and closure plan having estimated undiscounted costs of approximately $73.9 million, an increase from the $53.4 million in the previous plan. A Record of Decision was completed in late 2013 for proposed expansion of tailings capacity. In addition, in early 2014 we were engaged in negotiations with the U.S. Forest Service and state agencies on their proposed revisions to our previously-submitted reclamation and closure plan. In the first quarter of 2014, we updated our ARO at Greens Creek to reflect a revised reclamation and closure plan having estimated undiscounted costs of approximately $102.7 million, an increase from the $73.9 million in the previous plan, resulting in an increase to the ARO asset and liability of $8.0 million after discounting the estimated costs to present value. As part of the revised closure plan, we will be required to increase our $30 million reclamation bond and are currently evaluating bonding options. The increase in required bonding will be a material amount, and there can be no assurance that this bonding capacity will be available to us.

 

 

Note 14.   Guarantor Subsidiaries

 

 

Presented below are Hecla Mining Company’s condensed consolidating financial statements as required by Rule 3-10 of Regulation S-X of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, resulting from the guarantees by certain of our subsidiaries (the "Guarantors") of the Notes (see Note 9 for more information). The Guarantors consist of the following of our 100%-owned subsidiaries: Hecla Limited; Silver Hunter Mining Company; Rio Grande Silver, Inc.; RHL Holdings, Inc.; Hecla MC Subsidiary, LLC; Hecla Silver Valley, Inc.; Burke Trading, Inc.; Hecla Alaska LLC; Hecla Greens Creek Mining Company; Hecla Admiralty Company; and Hecla Juneau Mining Company. We completed the offering of the Notes on April 12, 2013, and a related exchange offer for virtually identical notes registered with the SEC on January 3, 2014.

 

The unaudited interim condensed consolidating financial statements below have been prepared from our financial information on the same basis of accounting as the unaudited interim consolidated financial statements. Investments in the subsidiaries are accounted for under the equity method. Accordingly, the entries necessary to consolidate Hecla Mining Company and the Guarantors are reflected in the intercompany eliminations column. In the course of preparing consolidated financial statements, we eliminate the effects of various transactions conducted between our subsidiaries. While valid at an individual subsidiary level, such activities are eliminated in consolidation because, when taken as a whole, they do not represent business activity with third-party customers, vendors, and other parties. Examples of such eliminations include the following:

 

 

 

Investments in subsidiaries. The acquisition of a company results in an investment on the records of the parent company and a contribution of capital on the records of the subsidiary. Such investments and capital contributions are eliminated in consolidation.

 

 

Capital contributions. Other of our subsidiaries do not generate cash flow, and their cash requirements are routinely met with inter-company advances from their parent companies. On an annual basis, the boards of directors of such parent companies declare contributions of capital to their subsidiary companies, which increase the parent's investment and the subsidiaries' additional paid-in capital. In consolidation, investments in subsidiaries and related additional paid-in capital are eliminated.

  

 
20

 

 

 

Deferred taxes. Our ability to realize deferred tax assets and liabilities is considered on a consolidated basis for subsidiaries within the United States, with all subsidiaries' estimated future taxable income contributing to the ability to realize all such assets and liabilities. However, when our subsidiaries are viewed independently, we use the separate return method to assess the realizability of each subsidiary's deferred tax assets and whether a valuation allowance is required against such deferred tax assets. In some instances, a parent company or subsidiary may possess deferred tax assets whose realization depends on the future taxable incomes of other subsidiaries on a consolidated-return basis, but would not be considered realizable if such parent or subsidiary filed on a separate stand-alone basis. In such a situation, a valuation allowance is assessed on that subsidiary's deferred tax assets, with the resulting adjustment reported in the eliminations column of the guarantor and parent's financial statements, as is the case in the financial statements set forth below. The separate return method can result in significant eliminations of deferred tax assets and liabilities and related income tax provisions and benefits. Non-current deferred tax asset balances are included in other non-current assets on the condensed consolidating balance sheets and make up a large portion of that item, particularly for the guarantor balances.

 

Separate financial statements of the subsidiary guarantors are not presented because the guarantees by the guarantors are joint and several and full and unconditional, except for certain customary release provisions. These release provisions include: (1) the sale or disposal of all or substantially all of the assets of the guarantor; (2) the sale or other disposition of the capital stock of the guarantor; (3) the guarantor is designated as an unrestricted entity in accordance with the applicable provisions of the indenture; (4) the company ceases to be a borrower as defined in the indenture; and (5) upon legal or covenant defeasance or satisfaction and discharge of the indenture.

 

Condensed Consolidating Balance Sheets

    As of March 31, 2014  
    Parent     Guarantors     Non-Guarantors     Eliminations     Consolidated  
    (in thousands)  

Assets

                                       
                                         

Cash and cash equivalents

  137,252     43,399     26,991         207,642  

Other current assets

    9,706       78,346       41,867       (5,290

)

    124,629  

Properties, plants, and equipment - net

    1,069       1,061,211       743,352             1,805,632  

Intercompany receivable (payable)

    508,911       (111,937

)

    (453,843

)

    56,869        

Investments in subsidiaries

    1,235,581                   (1,235,581

)

     

Other non-current assets

    8,742       166,027       15,192       (77,583

)

    112,378  
                                         

Total assets

  $ 1,901,261     $ 1,237,046     $ 373,559     $ (1,261,585

)

  $ 2,250,281  
                                         

Liabilities and Stockholders' Equity

                                       
                                         

Current liabilities

  $ 35,021     $ 109,246     $ 20,966     $ (13,673

)

  $ 151,560  

Long-term debt

    491,043       14,077       34             505,154  

Non-current portion of accrued reclamation

          47,061       8,292             55,353  

Non-current deferred tax liability

          12,331       159,890       (12,331     159,890  

Other non-current liabilities

    31,735       4,216       (1,089

)

          34,862  

Stockholders' equity

    1,343,462       1,050,115       185,466       (1,235,581

)

    1,343,462  
                                         

Total liabilities and stockholders' equity

  $ 1,901,261     $ 1,237,046     $ 373,559     $ (1,261,585

)

  $ 2,250,281  

  

 
21

 

 

      As of December 31, 2013  
      Parent       Guarantors       Non-Guarantors       Eliminations       Consolidated  
      (in thousands)  

Assets

                                       
                                         

Cash and cash equivalents

  126,271     40,009     45,895         212,175  

Other current assets

    4,795       75,083       33,129       18,453       131,460  

Properties, plants, and equipment - net

    803       1,052,102       738,696             1,791,601  

Intercompany receivable (payable)

    547,074       (131,599

)

    (464,634

)

    49,159        

Investments in subsidiaries

    1,176,293                   (1,176,293

)

     

Other non-current assets

    5,248       164,563       11,115       (84,043

)

    96,883  
                                         

Total assets

  $ 1,860,484     $ 1,200,158     $ 364,201     $ (1,192,724

)

  $ 2,232,119  
                                         

Liabilities and Stockholders' Equity

                                       
                                         

Current liabilities

  $ 10,058     $ 117,421     $ 24,000     $     $ 151,479  

Long-term debt

    490,726       14,292       40             505,058  

Non-current portion of accrued reclamation

          38,426       8,340             46,766  

Non-current deferred tax liability

          16,431       164,861       (16,431

)

    164,861  

Other non-current liabilities

    33,281       4,043       212             37,536  

Stockholders' equity

    1,326,419       1,009,545       166,748       (1,176,293

)

    1,326,419  
                                         

Total liabilities and stockholders' equity

  $ 1,860,484     $ 1,200,158     $ 364,201     $ (1,192,724

)

  $ 2,232,119  

 

 

 
22

 

 

Condensed Consolidating Statements of Operations

 

   

Three Months Ended March 31, 2014

 
   

Parent

   

Guarantors

   

Non-Guarantors

   

Eliminations

   

Consolidated

 
   

(in thousands)

 

Revenues

  $ (19

)

  $ 83,710     $ 42,096     $     $ 125,787  

Cost of sales

          (49,933

)

    (27,808

)

          (77,741

)

Depreciation, depletion, amortization

          (17,221

)

    (8,582

)

          (25,803

)

General and administrative

    (4,630

)

    (3,008

)

    (303

)

          (7,941

)

Exploration and pre-development

    (44

)

    (958

)

    (3,567

)

          (4,569

)

Gain on derivative contracts

    9,452                         9,452  

Equity in earnings of subsidiaries

    17,703                   (17,703

)

     

Other (expense) income

    (10,821

)

    408       9,955       (3,303     (3,761

)

                                         

Income (loss) before income taxes

    11,641       12,998       11,791       (21,006

)

    15,424  

(Provision) benefit from income taxes

          (2,886

)

    (4,200     (3,303

)

    (3,783

)

                                         

Net income (loss)

    11,641       10,112       7,591       (17,703

)

    11,641  

Preferred stock dividends

    (138

)

                      (138

)

                                         

Income (loss) applicable to common stockholders

    11,503       10,112       7,591       (17,703

)

    11,503  
                                         

Net income (loss)

    11,641       10,112       7,591       (17,703

)

    11,641  

Changes in comprehensive income (loss)

    1,350       57       1,316       (1,373

)

    1,350  
                                         

Comprehensive income (loss)

  $ 12,991     $ 10,169     $ 8,907     $ (19,076

)

  $ 12,991  

 

   

Three Months Ended March 31, 2013

 
   

Parent

   

Guarantors

   

Non-Guarantors

   

Eliminations

   

Consolidated

 
   

(in thousands)

 

Revenues

  $ 2,413     $ 74,037     $     $     $ 76,450  

Cost of sales

          (36,825

)

                (36,825

)

Depreciation, depletion, amortization

          (14,007

)

                (14,007

)

General and administrative

    (3,472

)

    (3,410

)

    (57

)

          (6,939

)

Exploration and pre-development

    (164

)

    (8,195

)

    (2,925

)

          (11,284

)

Loss on derivative contracts

    21,539                         21,539  

Equity in earnings of subsidiaries

    (1,073

)

                1,073        

Other (expense) income

    (8,149

)

    (3,122

)

    (1,104

)

    1,950       (10,425

)