Hecla Mining has agreed to acquire Revett Mining for $20 million in Hecla shares under terms of an agreement announced March 27. Following closure of the transaction, Hecla intends to continue to advance permitting of Revett’s Rock Creek project in northwest Montana. Revett has reported Rock Creek inferred resources of 229 million oz of silver and 2.0 billion lb of copper.

The Rock Creek project is located approximately 50 miles north of Hecla’s Lucky Friday mine in Idaho. A Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) is in process, and the U.S. Forest Service schedule indicates that the SEIS will be issued for public comment later in 2015.

Revett also owns the Troy silver-copper mine in northwest Montana. The company placed the mine on care and maintenance in January 2015 due to low metal prices. The Hecla announcement stated that, following its acquisition of Revett, it would close and reclaim the Troy mine and associated facilities. The companies believe that the cost of reclamation will be borne by an insurance-backed reclamation policy that was established by Revett for that purpose.

The Revett website states that, assuming a positive feasibility study and the receipt of necessary construction permits and project financing, the company had planned to develop Rock Creek as an approximate 10,000-st/d, underground room-and-pillar mine similar to Troy. Processing would be based on conventional crushing, grinding, and flotation to produce a copper-silver concentrate that would be shipped by rail to a smelter.

“We are acquiring Revett with an eye to the future, as Rock Creek is a world-class silver-copper deposit that we see becoming another Greens Creek,” Hecla president and CEO Phillips S. Baker, Jr. commented. “Our experience of Greens Creek operating in a National Monument in Alaska since 1997 will be invaluable as we take a patient and persistent approach to permitting and then responsibly operating the Rock Creek mine.”

The transaction was expected to close late in the second quarter of 2015, assuming approval by Revett shareholders and the satisfaction of other closing conditions contained in the acquisition agreement.