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Press release from Business Wire

Hecla Reports Update on Lucky Friday Mine

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Hecla Reports Update on Lucky Friday Mine07:45 EST Thursday, December 15, 2011 COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho (Business Wire) -- Hecla Mining Company (“Hecla”) (NYSE:HL) reports that all miners have been safely removed from the Lucky Friday mine near Mullan, Idaho, following a rock burst that occurred Wednesday, December 14, at approximately 7:40 p.m. “We are thankful that all employees are out of the mine and have been accounted for, and that those injured have been treated. The safety of our employees is our primary concern,” said Phil Baker, President and Chief Executive Officer. “The mine is currently shut down, and once we have cared for our people, we will be investigating the cause of the seismic activity.” The incident occurred at 5900 feet below the surface. Seven people were transported to local hospitals and treated for non-life-threatening injuries. No mine blasting had taken place anywhere in the mine for the previous 24 hours; therefore, the rock burst is unrelated to mining activities. The mine is currently closed pending further investigation. The federal Mine Safety and Health Administration has been notified and investigators are en route to the mine. For up-to-date information and a video message from our President and CEO, Phil Baker, please visit Hecla's homepage of the website at www.hecla-mining.com. Cautionary StatementsStatements made which are not historical facts, such as strategies, plans, anticipated payments, litigation outcome (including settlement negotiations), production, sales of assets, exploration results and plans, costs, and prices or sales performance are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as “may”, “will”, “should”, “expects”, “intends”, “projects”, “believes”, “estimates”, “targets”, “anticipates” and similar expressions are used to identify these forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements involve a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected, anticipated, expected or implied. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, metals price volatility, volatility of metals production and costs, environmental and litigation risks, operating risks, project development risks, political risks, labor issues, ability to raise financing and exploration risks and results. Refer to the company's Form 10-K and 10-Q reports for a more detailed discussion of factors that may impact expected future results. The company undertakes no obligation and has no intention of updating forward-looking statements other than as may be required by law. Hecla Mining CompanyMélanie HennesseyVice President ? Investor RelationsDirect: 604-694-7729Direct Main: 800-HECLA91 (800-432-5291)hmc-info@hecla-mining.comwww.hecla-mining.com