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Hecla Mining Co. has signed a deal to buy the shares in Alexco Resource Corp. AXU-T it does not already hold in an all-stock agreement valued at about US$74-million.

Alexco is the owner and operator of the Keno Hill Silver District in the Yukon.

Under the proposal, Hecla will issue about 18 million shares to Alexco shareholders or 0.116 of a Hecla share for each Alexco share. The offer implies a value for Alexco shares at about 47 US cents.

Hecla has also signed a deal with Wheaton Precious Metals Corp. WPM-T to end its silver streaming interest at Alexco’s Keno Hill property in exchange for US$135-million in Hecla shares conditional upon its acquisition of Alexco.

In addition, Hecla is providing Alexco with a US$30-million secured loan and is buying nearly nine million Alexco shares ahead of the transaction, which is expected to close in September.

The loan and share purchase are meant to provide the company with immediate working capital to continue development work at Keno Hill and are not conditional upon the completion of the takeover deal.

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