Lucky Friday | Mullan, Idaho
Lucky Friday is a deep underground silver, lead, and zinc mine located in the Coeur d’Alene Mining District in northern Idaho. Hecla now controls 100% of the Gold Hunter deposit, also known as the Lucky Friday Expansion Area, after completing acquisition from Independence Lead Mines Company in the 4th quarter of 2008. Lucky Friday is one mile east of Mullan, Idaho, and is adjacent to U.S. Interstate 90.
2013 marked another milestone year in the long history of the Lucky Friday mine, which Hecla has operated since 1958.
In the first quarter of 2013, the Lucky Friday recommenced production upon completion of the rehabilitation and enhancement project of the 6,100 foot Silver Shaft, the main access to the mine, as well as to and the 5900 bypass, and upgrading over eight miles of underground workings. All necessary permits from Mining Safety and Health Administration have been received.
Lucky Friday resumed limited production in February 2013, and full production in late September 2013. In the fourth quarter of 2013, ore was processed at an average rate of 837 tons per day. In 2013, the Lucky Friday produced 1.5 million ounces of silver.
Hecla work crews, who receive continual and ongoing state-of-the-art safety training, resumed sinking of the #4 Shaft in early 2013 upon completion of the Silver Shaft work and re-opening of the mine. Once complete, the #4 Shaft project, an internal shaft at the Lucky Friday mine, is expected to provide deeper access to higher grade material in order to extend the operational life and to increase silver production to 5 million ounces per year.
The plant has a full surface facility complete with a 1,000 tons of ore per day mill, which produces lead and zinc concentrates. These concentrates are currently shipped for treatment via truck to Teck Cominco Metals Ltd. smelter in Trail, BC, Canada. All production is by underground methods, which include both underhand and overhand mining. The coarse mill tailing is mixed with cement and used as backfill. Production is via ramps and transfers, and substantially utilizes jumbo drills, mechanized mining, and truck haulage to the Silver Shaft. Access to the underground workings is via the 18-foot diameter, concrete lined, Silver Shaft.