Coeur d’Alene-based Hecla Mining Co. will lay off six workers from its Lucky Friday silver mine next Monday as part of a slowdown in the development of new ore.
The six workers were among eight hired Dec. 5 when the Mullan mine reopened after a three-month repair period. An Aug. 30 accident in the silver shaft damaged the hoist system in the mine, which has slowly returned to full capacity.
Hecla has reduced the work to the adjacent Gold Hunter silver development project to one shift from three, said April Boughton, spokeswoman for Hecla. Workers are driving a tunnel from the existing mine to the new ore body.
Hecla is committed to developing the Gold Hunter project, Boughton said, but at a slower pace. Lower silver prices make producing the new silver less economical, she said.
The workers could be brought back on if silver prices improve.