Business

In brief: New Lucky Friday mineshaft should be completed in 2016

MULLAN, Idaho – Work on a new shaft at the Lucky Friday Mine is more than 60 percent complete, and should be finished in fall 2016, officials said.

Owner Hecla Mining Co. is sinking a new shaft to depths of nearly 9,000 feet below the surface, allowing the mine to go after richer silver deposits and extending the Lucky Friday’s operating life.

Construction of the new No. 4 shaft will cost about $215 million.

The remaining work involves the actual sinking of the shaft and development of the next level of the mine, Phil Baker, Hecla’s CEO, said in a news release.

Bank of America settles over credit products

WASHINGTON – Bank of America Corp. is paying $772 million in fines and refunds to settle regulators’ accusations that it misled customers who bought extra credit card products and illegally charged others for credit monitoring and reporting services they didn’t receive.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency announced the agreement Wednesday with the second-largest U.S. bank.

The regulators said about 2.9 million customers were affected in the Bank of America case. They say telemarketers made sales pitches for two credit-protection products that were misleading about their costs and benefits.

Charlotte, N.C.-based Bank of America neither admitted nor denied the allegations. The bank said in a statement it already has issued refunds to the majority of affected customers.

Continued global drop in PC shipments slows

NEW YORK – Worldwide shipments of PCs continued to drop during the first quarter of this year, but the decline wasn’t as dramatic as in recent periods and could be a sign that the global slump in PC demand is easing.

Shipments fell 2 percent to 76.6 million units in the first three months of 2014, according to market research firm Gartner Inc. In comparison, shipments fell 7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013.

The recent quarter’s numbers were helped by Microsoft Corp.’s ending of support for Windows XP, which prompted upgrades, Gartner reported.

Wholesale stockpiles increase 0.5 percent

WASHINGTON – U.S. wholesale businesses increased their stockpiles for an eighth consecutive month in February as their sales rose at the fastest clip since November, good signs for future economic growth.

Wholesale businesses boosted stockpiles by 0.5 percent in February following an increase of 0.8 percent in January, according to the Commerce Department.

Sales rose 0.7 percent in February, rebounding from a sharp 1.8 percent drop in January which had been blamed in part on severe weather.



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