Investors Sue Idaho Mining Company On Heels Of Accidents

Feb 2, 2012

The company that owns the troubled Lucky Friday Mine in north Idaho is now the subject of a new round of investigations. Only these don't come from mine safety inspectors. They're from the company's own investors. One group is even suing for what it calls “fraudulent conduct.”

Last year, two miners died and several more were seriously injured at the Lucky Friday Mine near Mullan, Idaho. The complaints claim that the Hecla Mining Company knew the mine wasn't in compliance with safety regulations and didn’t tell investors. The federal government has ordered the mine to clear hazardous debris from its primary shaft. It's a process Hecla says requires a year-long shut down, news that sent the company’s stock plunging in January.

Now, the Bricklayers of Western Pennsylviania Pension Plan has filed a federal class-action case in Idaho. It names Hecla president Phil Baker and the company's chief financial officer as defendants. They're accused of insider trading for allegedly selling Hecla stock at “artificially inflated prices.” At least five other law firms have announced their own investigations into potential securities law violations.

A spokeswoman for Hecla says the allegations have no merit and adds that cases like this are common when a company’s stock price drops.

Copyright 2012 Northwest News Network