Lucky Friday mine on track to reopen in early 2013 | Business
Good news for the Silver Valley: Rehab work at the Lucky Friday silver mine is ahead of schedule. Hecla Mining reports that the mine on pace to open in the first quarter of 2013.
The Silver Shaft closed back in January after federal inspectors order Hecla to remove built-up sand and concrete material. The Mining Safety and Health Administration had conducted a series of inspections after a rock burst injured 7 miners in December, 2011.
The Silver Shaft, commissioned in 1983, is one mile deep and it's the primary access for the Lucky Friday mine. The clean-up is expected to cost $20 million dollars and left more than 100 miners out of work.
"The current rehab work at Lucky Friday has exceeded our expectations and has been completed through the important 4,900-foot level," said Hecla President and CEO Phillips S. Baker, Jr.
20 miners were rehired and will return to work this month, in addition to 75 hourly employees already at work. Hecla expects to be back to a full complement of 201 miners by the end of 2012, in anticipation of resuming operations in early 2013.