Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of silver and gold producer Hecla Mining (NYSE: HL) plunged as much as 10% on heavy volume Tuesday on weak precious-metal prices.

So what: A fervent return of investors' appetite for risk sent silver and gold prices slumping Tuesday, with miners Hecla, U.S. Gold (NYSE: UXG), and Silvercorp (NYSE: SVM) among the biggest losers on the New York Stock Exchange. At the time of this writing, more than 18 million Hecla shares have traded, versus its three-month average of 13.2 million shares.

Now what: I wouldn't rush into Hecla just yet. Even with today's plunge, it's still up more than 100% over the past six months, and it trades at a lofty-ish 35-plus P/E. Of course, at the right price, Hecla is a low-debt, free-cash-flow-generating, well-managed inflation fighter that Fools should certainly consider.

Interested in more info on Hecla? Add it to your watchlist.

Fool contributor Brian Pacampara owns no position in any of the companies mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

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