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BOISE – Idaho’s state endowment fund has been showing strong returns, so state officials had no qualms this week about putting the board that oversees the fund in charge of a new $50 million endowment designated to pay for a water treatment plant to help clean up mining contamination in the Silver Valley. The $50 million comes from Hecla Mining Corp. as part of a settlement of a Superfund lawsuit covering multiple companies and a wide swath of the Coeur d’Alene Basin where a century of mining spread contaminants.
Federal officials plan to spend $38 million in northern Idaho’s Coeur d’Alene River Basin this summer cleaning up toxic pollution left from a century worth of mining in the region.
Four Lucky Friday miners who were trapped in a 2011 rock burst, and who accuse Hecla Mining Co.’s managers in a recent lawsuit of lying to them about dangerous conditions, are still working at the mine. “They’re career miners, so they really don’t have a lot of options,” said their attorney, Eric Rossman.
A miner who was killed during a cave-in at the Lucky Friday Mine was not in his assigned work area when the accident occurred, and that action contributed to his death, according to the mine’s owner. In court documents filed this week, Hecla Mining Co. said Larry “Pete” Marek’s death was partly a result of his own “negligent and careless misconduct.”
Four miners who were trapped and injured two years ago during a rock burst at the Lucky Friday Mine are suing Hecla Mining Co., alleging that mine managers knowingly sent them into unsafe working conditions. On Dec. 14, 2011, Ronnel E. Barrett, Gregg Hammerberg, Eric J. Tester and Matthew Williams were part of a team of seven miners sent to repair damage from an earlier rock burst when another occurred, according to the lawsuit. The sudden, violent failure of a supporting rock pillar trapped them 5,900 feet below the surface.
Four miners who were trapped and injured two years ago during a rock burst at the Lucky Friday Mine are suing Hecla Mining Co., alleging that mine mangers knowingly sent them to work in unsafe conditions.
Hecla Mining posted an $8.6 million loss for the third quarter as precious metals prices slumped.
The family of a miner killed in a tunnel collapse two years ago has sued Hecla Mining Co. Larry “Pete” Marek, 53, was crushed to death in a cave-in more than a mile deep inside the Lucky Friday Mine on April 15, 2011. It took rescue workers nine days to dig out his body in the silver mine near Mullan, Idaho.
Federal mine safety officials will not impose tighter enforcement on the Lucky Friday Mine in Shoshone County after Hecla Mining Co. demonstrated it has made safety improvements there. The Mine Safety and Health Administration warned Hecla last November that the company might be issued a notice of a “potential pattern of violations of mandatory health or safety standards.” The agency said the company would be subject to enhanced enforcement unless it reduced the rate of “significant and substantial” violations at the Lucky Friday in Mullan, Idaho.
Hecla Mining officials on Tuesday announced the company has resumed silver production at the Lucky Friday mine, which closed more than a year ago after two miners were killed and seven injured in three separate events in 2011. Regulators from the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration ordered Hecla to close the mine in Mullan, Idaho, after a wall collapsed near the main silver shaft in December 2011. Seven miners were injured. Two miners were killed in earlier accidents that year.
After being closed for more than a year, Hecla’s Lucky Friday silver mine reopened this week, following a series of safety upgrades that cost more than $30 million.
When it resumes operations early next year, the Lucky Friday Mine in Shoshone County will be under tighter health and safety controls imposed by the federal government. The Mine Safety and Health Administration on Wednesday said it has warned Hecla Mining Co. that the mine near Mullan, Idaho, will be subject to enhanced enforcement because it has demonstrated a “potential pattern of violations of mandatory health or safety standards.”
Miners will return to the Lucky Friday Mine early next year, capping a yearlong shutdown at one of the Silver Valley’s largest private employers. Hecla Mining Co. said Tuesday it will resume mining in the first quarter of 2013 and anticipates producing more than 2 million ounces of silver there next year.
Hecla Mining Co. said today it expects to resume mining at the Lucky Friday Mine in the first quarter of 2013 and anticipates producing more than 2 million ounces of silver there next year.
Inland Northwest companies had a strong quarter from July through September. The Hart Capital Inland Northwest Index grew 14.3 percent in the third quarter. That’s dramatically better than the S&P 500 and the Russell 2000 indexes, which grew 5.8 percent and 4.9 percent, respectively.
Hecla Mining Co. announced Tuesday it has acquired an interest in Dolly Varden Silver Corp., a Canadian firm with silver mines in northwestern British Columbia. Coeur d’Alene-based Hecla paid $3.2 million for 20 million common shares of Dolly Varden, giving Hecla control of nearly 20 percent of the company’s stock and a seat on its board.
Hecla Mining Co. won’t be acquiring a competing silver producer through a hostile takeover. Company officials announced Tuesday morning that U.S. Silver Corp.’s shareholders had rejected their cash offer of about $109 million, and voted instead to merge with a Canadian firm, RX Gold & Silver.