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Silver Mine Reopens

March 23, 1986|Associated Press

KELLOGG, Ida. — After a month-long shutdown, the Sunshine Silver Mine, the nation's largest, has reopened, but not all workers were immediately called back to work.

Operations resumed late Sunday night and most of the 400 workers will report for work as the mine goes back to full operation over the next month or so, according to Sunshine personnel manager Tim Olson in Boise.

"We'll have as many back to work as quickly as possible," Olson said.

For example, operations manager Robert Peterson said, "We won't be calling people back to run the concentrator immediately. It takes ore before the concentrator can be run."

The mine, which produced 4.8 million ounces of silver last year, was shut down Feb. 16 due to excess inventory.

Olson said he hopes discussions will continue with the United Steelworkers of America on a company request for wage and benefit cuts.

"We hope to work something out so we can continue the operations economically," he said.

Sunshine claims an ounce of silver are more than the current price of the metal.

Members of Local 5089 rejected the company's plan on Feb. 22.

The company had ore reserves containing 400,000 ounces of silver above ground when the mine closed last month. That ore has been processed and refined during the closure.

The silver refinery at the mine operated during the closure with stockpiled ore, concentrates from Sunshine's Sixteen-to-One Mine in Nevada, and custom refining work.

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