Idaho silver mine laying off 126 employees


U.S. Silver & Gold Inc. has announced the layoff of just over one-third of its employees at its North Idaho silver mine due to decreasing silver prices.

The company announced Tuesday that it was letting go 126 of 351 employees at the Galena Mine Complex near Wallace.

The layoffs come less than two months after the company announced that it was shutting down its Drumlummon gold mine northwest of Helena, Mont.

Producing an ounce of silver from the Galena mine costs about $16, while silver prices have dropped from $30 an ounce to about $20 this year, company officials said.

In January, the Galena mine began operating around the clock in an effort to increase productivity, but President and CEO Darren Blasutti said the decline in silver prices required further savings.

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