Mining death

News
5:01 pm
Mon June 4, 2012

Fines for fatal mining accident less than predicted

The Lucky Friday Mine in Mullan, Idaho. Photo by Jessica Robinson

Originally published on Mon June 4, 2012 4:38 pm

The federal government is fining a north Idaho mining company $360,000 for unsafe practices that killed a miner last year. That’s about a third of the penalties that were expected.

Last year federal inspectors said the Hecla Mining Company engaged in “aggravated conduct” when it allowed miners to extract silver ore from a mass of unstable rock. It happened about a mile underground at the Lucky Friday Mine near Mullan, Idaho.

The practices led to a tunnel collapse that killed 53-year-old Larry Marek, according to a investigation.

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Mining death
10:03 am
Mon September 19, 2011

Poor mining practices, inadequate oversight preceded miner's death

A statue of a miner stands outside Hecla Mining’s headquarters in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. The company owns the Lucky Friday Mine in Mullan, Idaho, where miner Larry Marek died in April.
Jessica Robinson KPLU

COEUR d’ALENE, Idaho – It's been five months since a rockfall at the Lucky Friday Mine in north Idaho killed veteran miner Larry Marek. Much about the accident is still unknown. But public records going back several years suggest the federal agency that oversees mines did not adequately ensure the safety of workers at the Lucky Friday.

A 2008 report on another collapse there went missing. And since Larry Marek’s death, inspectors have found a dramatically higher number of safety violations.

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