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Business Briefs: Hecla Mining pays off Superfund settlement

Fri., Aug. 15, 2014

Hecla Mining Co. has finished paying a $263.4 million settlement over historic mine waste in Idaho’s Silver Valley.

Hecla made the final payment of $41.3 million on Thursday, president and CEO Phillips S. Baker said in a news release.

“We are pleased to put this litigation completely behind us,” he said. “With this final payment, we can continue our focus on growing the company’s production and cash flow.”

The 2011 settlement between Hecla, the federal government, Coeur d’Alene Tribe and the state of Idaho resolved one of the nation’s largest Superfund lawsuits.

The settlement money will be used to clean up heavy metals that have polluted 160 miles of the Coeur d’Alene River, its shoreline and downstream water bodies, including Lake Coeur d’Alene and the Spokane River.

Hecla, based in Coeur d’Alene, is a 122-year-old mining company. In an earlier trial, a judge determined that Hecla was responsible for 31 percent of the mine tailings released into the Coeur d’Alene basin before modern pollution controls.

Ford recalled vehicles could lose power, roll

DETROIT – Ford is recalling 83,250 vehicles because a faulty part could cause them to lose power or roll away if they’re parked.

The recall involves the 2012-2014 Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX; the 2013-2014 Ford Flex and Lincoln MKT; and the 2013-2014 Ford Taurus and Lincoln MKS.

The company said that due to the improper installation of a clip in the axle, the halfshaft can disengage from the linkshaft. If that happens, power won’t be transmitted to the wheels, increasing the risk of a crash. Also, the vehicles could roll out of the “park” position if the emergency brake isn’t engaged.

Ford says there have been no reports of injuries or accidents related to the defect. Ford will notify owners and begin free repairs by the end of August.

Coke buys stake in Monster Beverage

ATLANTA – Coca-Cola is buying a 16.7 percent stake in Monster Beverage for $2.15 billion, with the world’s biggest soda maker hoping to benefit from the surging popularity of energy drinks.

The Atlanta-based company said Thursday it will also place two directors on Monster’s board as part of the deal.

The two companies will also swap some drinks to better align their respective portfolios. Monster will take Coca-Cola’s energy drink business, which includes NOS, Full Throttle, Burn and Mother. In turn, Coca-Cola will take Monster’s other beverages, such as Hansen’s Natural Sodas and Peace Tea.

The transaction is expected to close later this year or in early 2015.

30-year mortgage rate dips to 4.12 percent

WASHINGTON – Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates declined this week, approaching their lows for the year.

Mortgage company Freddie Mac said Thursday the nationwide average for a 30-year loan slipped to 4.12 percent from 4.14 percent last week. The average for a 15-year mortgage, a popular choice for people who are refinancing, fell to 3.24 percent from 3.27 percent last week.

Mortgage rates are below the levels of a year ago. They have fallen in recent weeks after climbing last summer when the Federal Reserve began talking about reducing the monthly bond purchases it was making to keep long-term borrowing rates low.

The average rate on a five-year adjustable-rate mortgage edged down to 2.97 percent from 2.98 percent. The fee remained at 0.5 point.


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