August 9, 2011 in Business

Mine shaft’s completion gets board approval


Hecla Mining Co. said Monday its board has approved completion of a new shaft at its Lucky Friday mine near Mullan, Idaho.

The expansion will extend the life of the silver mine by more than 20 years and boost production by 2 million ounces of silver per year, the Coeur d’Alene-based company said.

Hecla will sink the shaft to depths of 8,800 feet to reach richer silver deposits. Coupled with other projects, the company’s goal is to produce 15 million ounces of silver a year by 2016.

The largest silver producer in the U.S., Hecla has spent about $70 million on the new shaft so far and expects it will spend about $200 million by the time expansion is completed in 2014.

Silver was trading around $39 an ounce Monday. Its high this year approached $50 an ounce in late April. In 2010, silver prices averaged $19.48 an ounce.

Scott Maben

Thoughts and opinions on this story? Click here to comment >>

Get stories like this in a free daily email