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In brief: U.S. mining fatality rate in 2012 lowest in country’s history

Thirty-six miners died on the job in the U.S. last year, the lowest fatality rate in the history of U.S. mining, according to the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration.

“While more needs to be done to protect the nation’s miners, we are moving mine safety in the right direction,” said Joseph Main, assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health. “All miners deserve the safest possible working conditions.”

In 2012, the fatality rate was 0.011 deaths per 200,000 hours worked. Twenty coal miners and 16 hard-rock miners died in work-related accidents last year.

The rate of nonfatal injuries was 2.56 per 200,000 hours worked, which was also a record low, officials said.

B.C. company cancels plan to sell former Sunshine refinery

KELLOGG – Formation Metals Inc. has ended an agreement to sell the former Sunshine metals refinery to another firm after the two parties failed to reach a final deal.

The Vancouver, B.C., company will pay $1 million to terminate the previously announced sale agreement with Waterton Global Resources Management. Formation will continue to seek other buyers for the refinery near Kellogg, officials said.

Formation Metals bought the refinery several years ago, intending to use it when the company’s cobalt mine near Salmon, Idaho, starts operation. However, new studies indicated that building a new cobalt refinery would cost less than retrofitting the old one, officials said.

Hyundai plants reach capacity; growth increase predicted

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Hyundai Motor Co.’s factories have reached their maximum capacity to build cars, and that’s costing the company sales in a growing U.S. market, its American CEO said Friday.

Hyundai’s U.S. sales are up only 1.9 percent for the first half of the year, less than a quarter of the overall market’s 8.4 percent growth rate, according to Autodata Corp. Industry analysts are predicting that sales will rise to as high as 15.5 million cars and trucks this year, a million more than last year, and there are predictions of nearly 16 million in 2014.

U.S. CEO John Krafcik said Hyundai has decided not to build another U.S. factory, instead taking at least a two-year break to focus on quality.

Hyundai had record sales for the first six months of the year at 361,010. Krafcik said the company has only enough inventory in the U.S. to supply dealers for 44 days. That’s the second only to Subaru with 31 days, he said.


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