Hecla closes Lucky Friday Mine in Idaho

Hecla Mining Company announced a year-long closure at its Lucky Friday Mine in Idaho yesterday (Wednesday).

The federal Mine Safety and Health Administration ordered the closure after investigating two deaths and several injuries at the mine in 2011. The latest incident occurred in mid-December, when seven miners were injured by a rock burst. Last week, investigators determined that conditions flagged at the mine during an investigation into the incident had not been fixed.

Over the next year, Hecla will be required to clean up sand and gravel build up in the Lucky Friday’s main shaft.

About 200 miners and contract workers will lose their jobs during that period. Hecla also revised down its projected silver production for 2012, from 9.5 million ounces to about 7 million.

Hecla also owns Green’s Creek Mine on Admiralty Island near Juneau.