Lucky Friday Mine

Mining Tragedy
9:22 am
Tue July 29, 2014

Penalties On Idaho Mine Still Unpaid Three Years After Miner's Death

Larry "Pete" Marek died in a collapse at the Lucky Friday Mine on April 15, 2011.
Courtesy of the Marek family.

It's been more than three years since a tunnel collapse at a north Idaho silver mine killed miner Larry Marek. Yet federal records show a series of federal penalties issued to the mine's owners still have not been paid.

In 2011, federal inspectors determined the Hecla Mining Company violated rules meant to prevent collapse at the Lucky Friday Mine. The inspectors issued four citations directly related to Larry Marek’s death with federal fines that totaled almost $360,000.

To this day, those fines remain unpaid.

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Lucky Friday mine
2:28 pm
Mon January 9, 2012

Federal inspectors shut down Lucky Friday’s silver shaft

Federal inspectors have shut down the primary shaft into a troubled silver mine in north Idaho. The order comes on the heels of three tragic accidents that led the owners of the Lucky Friday Mine to take a two-month hiatus from mining to make safety improvements.

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Idaho Mine Collapse
9:19 am
Tue December 20, 2011

Idaho mining accident registers as 2.2 earthquake

Federal mine safety officials have shut down the Lucky Friday Mine in Mullan, Idaho while they investigate an accident that injured seven miners
Jessica Robinson Northwest News Network

The rockburst that injured seven miners in north Idaho last week registered as a 2.2 seismic event according to the U.S. Geological Survey. That contradicts earlier reports about what could have caused the collapse. The mine remains closed while federal officials investigate the incident.

It's a matter of cause and effect. Did an earthquake trigger the rockburst at the Lucky Friday Mine ... or was the shaking caused by the collapse a mile underground?

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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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