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Shawn Volquardsen checks the lead disk filter Jan. 23 at the Pend Oreille Mine in Metaline Falls. Volquardsen will lose his job after the mine closes, and he hopes to land another job at a nearby dam or return to school. “My wife’s whole family lives here, and my whole family lives here, so leaving the area is probably not going to be an option. I’ve survived hard times before,” says Volquardsen, 33. Volquardsen is the control room operator for the Pend Oreille Mine’s milling operation.

Photos by Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review