Lucky Friday silver mine rebounds into production

Lucky Friday mine in Idaho’s Silver Valley has resumed production and expects to produce approximately two million ounces of silver this year, announced Hecla Mining Company (NYSE:HL) Tuesday.

The flagship silver-lead-zinc mine was closed for 12 months — following three accidents which killed two mine workers and injured seven others — by order of the US Mine Safety and Health Administration.

Since then, Hecla has spent $29.8 million on shaft rehabilitation as well as $26.2 million on other capital projects.

"Besides cleaning and improving the efficiency of the main Silver Shaft, we upgraded mining methods, conducted supplementary training, hired additional safety experts, mine management and engineering staff, and purchased $2.3 million in new equipment, including mechanized rock bolters," said CEO Phillips Baker Jr. in a written statement.

Employees are back at work and initial silver concentrates are expected this month with normal production levels in swing by mid-year.

Hecla is the largest silver producer in the US.

Image: Flickr / Hugh Millward