At the Greens Creek mine in 2019, 9.9 million ounces of silver and 56,624 ounces of gold were produced. For the fourth quarter, 2.7 million ounces of silver and 15,356 ounces of gold were produced. Silver production for 2019 was the highest it has been since Hecla acquired 100 percent ownership of the mine in 2008.
Mineral exports accounted for 36 percent of Alaska’s export total in 2017, and all signs point to mined commodities staying one of the state’s leading exports for years to come.
Three world-class mining prospects are the Donlin Gold prospect in Southwest Alaska, the Upper Kobuk Mineral Project in Northwest Alaska, and Pebble in the Bristol Bay region of the state. All three are near or in the permitting phase.
Although the Alaska mineral industry is in better health in 2018 than it has been in the last five years, the spirited recovery that was in progress in the first quarter of the year turned into a dead-cat bounce, a minor unsustained recovery after a long down trend extending back to 2012.