Accident involving two contractors stops work at Lucky Friday mine

Production was halted temporarily at Hecla Mining's Lucky Friday silver mine due to an accident involving two contractors who were constructing an underground rock bin.

The company said the accident occurred Thursday during construction of the #4 Shaft at the mine in northern Idaho.

According to a statement from Hecla (NYSE:HL):

Two contractors were involved in the accident during routine activities involving the construction of a 16-foot diameter underground rock bin (a storage area for broken rock). The work involved drilling, blasting, and mucking of rock into a previously constructed area. Both men were believed to be wearing all required personal protection equipment, including fall protection. For reasons that are unknown at this time, the two men were drawn into material that was moving underneath them. Both contractors were removed from the area and transported to the hospital, and one has been released. All personnel are accounted for.

The accident is currently being investigated by the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration.

It is the second incident this year at the Lucky Friday mine. In April, a miner died in a cave-in. Hecla is the largest silver producer in the United States.