Hecla Urges Aurizon Shareholders Not to Tender to Alamos and to Withdraw Tendered Shares

  Hecla Urges Aurizon Shareholders Not to Tender to Alamos and to Withdraw
  Tendered Shares

Business Wire

COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho -- March 19, 2013

Hecla Mining Company (NYSE:HL) (Hecla or the Company) urges Aurizon
shareholders to continue withdrawing shares tendered to Alamos’ inadequate bid
and not to tender any new shares to the bid. Aurizon Mines Ltd. (Aurizon)
announced yesterday that the British Columbia Securities Commission (the
Commission) has cease traded Aurizon’s shareholder rights plan which means
that today is the day shareholders can show Alamos their bid is inferior. All
currencies are in CAD$ unless otherwise noted.

“The decision shareholders have to make is whether they want to tender into an
Alamos bid that is $0.29 per share less than the Hecla deal and $0.14 less
than Aurizon’s current share price,” said Phillips S Baker, Jr., Hecla’s
President and CEO. “Clearly the alternative that puts the most value into
Aurizon shareholders’ pockets is to hold the shares and get the premium
valuation from Hecla. Alternatively, given that Alamos’ bid has traded to such
a low point, shareholders can sell the Aurizon shares in the open market and
receive additional value over the inferior bid of Alamos.”

The Commission’s decision highlights the need for Aurizon shareholders to
withdraw any existing tendered shares and to not make any new deposits in
order to secure the highest value for their shares. The Commission did not
grant Alamos’ request to remove the $27.2 million termination fee payable to
Hecla in the event that any person acquires more than 33 1/3% of Aurizon’s
outstanding shares.

It is now up to the shareholders of Aurizon to show that they are not
intimidated by Alamos’ coercive tactics and ensure that the financially
superior Hecla Arrangement prevails. This can only happen if less than 17% of
Aurizon’s outstanding shares are deposited to the Alamos bid. Counsel for
Alamos disclosed in the hearing before the Commission on March 15, 2013 that
only 6.5% of Aurizon’s shares were tendered to its offer as of that date.

Hecla strongly urges Aurizon’s shareholders NOT to deposit their shares to the
coercive Alamos bid and to withdraw any shares they have deposited for the
following reasons:

  *$0.29 per share premium – based on the closing share prices of Hecla and
    Alamos on March 18, 2013, and assuming that all shareholders elected to
    receive either cash or shares, the Hecla Arrangement will provide total
    consideration of $4.60 per Aurizon share, (including cash consideration of
    $3.11 per Aurizon share), which represents a $0.29 premium to the total
    consideration of the coercive bid by Alamos of $4.31 per share (including
    cash consideration of $2.04 per Aurizon share).
  *68% more cash consideration – the Hecla arrangement offers Aurizon
    shareholders greater value certainty through a maximum $513.6 million in
    cash, which is 68% higher than the maximum amount of cash offered by
    Alamos ($305 million maximum cash).
  *A combination of Hecla and Aurizon offers shareholders the opportunity to
    participate in a North America-focused, US$1.64 billion precious metals
    company with excellent operating assets, and exploration potential:

       *Operating mines – the combined company will own three low-cost,
         long-life operating mines with further growth and exploration
         opportunities at present operations.
       *Superb, proven mining jurisdictions – with a focus in North America,
         a combination of Hecla and Aurizon offers shareholders the certainty
         of proven operations in stable, established mining-friendly
         jurisdictions.
       *Complementary skills and mining experience – Hecla has been operating
         underground mines for over 120 years and brings experience and depth
         to the Aurizon team to build on the success to date at Casa Berardi.
         In contrast, Alamos does not currently operate any underground mines.
         Given the vast majority of the value of Aurizon is held in an
         underground mine with significant in-mine development programs
         underway to extend mine-life, an experienced underground miner like
         Hecla is far better positioned to enhance its value.
       *In addition, the combined company will have a prudent level of debt
         that should lower its overall cost of capital. Hecla has structured a
         flexible financing package, having negotiated a six-month time period
         after the close of the transaction before any hedging requirements
         for a portion of its gold production would come into effect. Hecla is
         actively reviewing the numerous fixed income financing alternatives
         available to it, which could replace the fixed-term loan portion of
         the financing package, thereby eliminating the requirement to hedge a
         portion of its gold production.

Support for Alamos’ Bid Was Less Than Claimed and Has Diminished

  *Support for the Alamos bid has significantly declined since the Hecla deal
    was announced. Counsel for Alamos disclosed in the hearing before the
    Commission on March 15, 2013 that only 6.5% of Aurizon’s shares were
    tendered to its offer as of that date. This is in stark contrast to the
    13% of Aurizon’s shares that were tendered on March 5, 2013, and indicates
    that half of the shares deposited to the Alamos offer on that date have
    subsequently been withdrawn.
  *Alamos has consistently claimed significant support for their bid by
    unnamed Aurizon shareholders. Alamos continued that claim before the
    Commission but only supplied one affidavit of support from a fund manager
    who had sold all of the Aurizon shares over which he had control to Alamos
    on January 11, 2013. Whatever supposed support Alamos has for their
    tender, it is not reflected in letters of support to the Commission or in
    shares being tendered. Alamos’ unsupported and nebulous claims serve only
    to confuse and bully Aurizon shareholders into tendering.
  *The implied value of Alamos’ bid is at a 3.3% discount to the trading
    price of Aurizon, based on closing prices on March 18, 2013.

Details of the Hecla Agreement

Under the terms of the Hecla Agreement announced on March 4, 2013, Aurizon
shareholders may elect to receive in exchange for each Aurizon share, $4.75
per share or 0.9953 of a Hecla share or a combination of both, subject in each
case to pro-ration based on a maximum cash consideration of approximately
$513.6 million and a maximum of approximately 57,000,000 Hecla shares.
Assuming that all shareholders elect to receive either cash or Hecla shares,
the consideration will be fully pro-rated with each shareholder being entitled
to receive $3.11 in cash and 0.3446 of a Hecla share for each Aurizon share.

How to Withdraw Aurizon Shares from the Unsolicited Alamos Offer

Shareholders who have questions or who may have already tendered their shares
to the unsolicited Offer by Alamos and wish to withdraw them, may do so by
contacting Aurizon’s Information Agent, Georgeson, Toll Free (North America):
1-888-605-7616, Outside North America Call Collect: 1-781-575-2422 or Email:
askus@georgeson.com.

About Hecla Mining Company

Hecla Mining Company (NYSE:HL) is a leading low cost U.S. silver producer with
operating mines in Alaska and Idaho, exploration and pre-development
properties in four world-class silver mining districts in the U.S. and Mexico,
and an exploration office and investments in early-stage silver exploration
projects in Canada.

Additional Information and Where to Find It

Thismaterialrelates to Hecla’s proposed acquisition (the “Transaction”) of
Aurizon. Shares of Hecla’s common stock (the “Hecla Shares”) issued in
connection with the proposed Transaction may be registered pursuant to a
registration statement to be filed with the SEC or issued pursuant to an
available exemption. This information is not a substitute for any registration
statement or any other document that Hecla may file with the SEC orthat it or
Aurizon may send totheir respective shareholders in connection with the
offerand/or issuance of Hecla Shares. Investors are urged to read any
registration statement, if and when filed, and all other relevant documents
that may be filed with the SECor with Canadian regulatory authoritiesas and
if they become available because they will contain important information about
the issuance of Hecla Shares. Documents, if and when filedwith the SEC, will
be available free of charge at the SEC’s website (www.sec.gov). You may also
obtain these documents by contacting Hecla’s Investor Relations department at
Hecla Mining Company; Investor Relations; 1-800-HECLA91 (1-800-432-5291);
hmc-info@hecla-mining.com. This release does not constitute an offer to sell
or the solicitation of an offer to buy any securities.

In connection with the proposed transaction, Aurizon will file proxy
soliciting materials with the SEC and/or Canadian regulatory authorities. The
information contained in any such filingmay not be complete and may
beupdated, amended orchanged. SHAREHOLDERS ARE URGED TO READSUCH MATERIALS
WHEN AVAILABLE AND ANY OTHER RELEVANT MATERIALS FILED WITH THE SEC AND/OR
CANADIAN REGULATORY AUTHORITIES CAREFULLY IN THEIR ENTIRETY BEFORE MAKING ANY
VOTING OR INVESTMENT DECISION WITH RESPECT TO THE PROPOSED TRANSACTION BECAUSE
THEY WILL CONTAIN IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT THE PROPOSED TRANSACTION AND THE
PARTIES THERETO.

Proxy solicitationmaterials will be mailed toAurizon’sshareholders seeking
their approval of the proposed transaction. Anyonemay also obtain a copy
ofsuch materials free of charge once available by directing a request to:
Hecla Mining Company 6500 N Mineral Drive, Suite 200, Coeur d’Alene, ID
83815-9408. 1-800-HECLA91 (1-800-432-5291) Attention: Investor Relations. In
addition, any relevant materials filed with the SEC will be available free of
charge at the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov or interested persons may access
copies of such documentation filed with the SEC by the Company by visiting the
Investors section of the Company’s website at www.hecla-mining.com.

Cautionary Statements

Statements made which are not historical facts, such as anticipated payments,
litigation outcome, production, sales of assets, exploration results and
plans, prospects and opportunities including reserves, resources, and
mineralization, 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, risks associated with the completion of Transaction, the
risk that expected synergies or cost savings resulting from the Transaction
may not be achieved, metals price volatility, volatility of metals production
and costs, environmental and litigation risks, operating risks, project
development risks, political and regulatory risks, labor issues, ability to
raise financing and exploration risks and results. Refer to the Company’s
Form10-Kand 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.

Similarly, please refer to the securities filings of Aurizon for further
information concerning risks applicable to it and its forward-looking
information.

Contact:

Hecla Mining Company
Jim Sabala, Sr. VP and CFO
or
Mike Westerlund, VP-Investor Relations
Direct Main: 1-800-HECLA91 (1-800-432-5291)
hmc-info@hecla-mining.com
www.hecla-mining.com
 
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