Lucky Friday

Mullan, Idaho

Lucky Friday, one of the top seven primary silver mines in the world (based on silver equivalent ounces), celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2017. Thanks to the #4 Shaft project, the mine is expected to have another 20-30 years of mine life and will continue to provide quality jobs and community support to north Idaho.


Mine Type



4.4 Moz


29.2 Ktons


12.4 Ktons


***All metals reflect 2022 production 

Description & History

Lucky Friday is a deep underground silver, lead, and zinc mine located in the Coeur d’Alene Mining District in northern Idaho. The mine began operating in 1942.  Hecla now controls 100% of the Gold Hunter deposit, also known as the Lucky Friday Expansion Area. In 2022, silver production increased by 24% to 4.4 million ounces using the Underhand Closed Bench (UCB) mining method. Watch our animation video to learn more about UCB. In 2023, the mine is expected to produce 4.5 to 5.0 million ounces of silver.

The #4 Shaft Project, an internal shaft at the Lucky Friday Mine and a key growth project, reaches 9,600 feet below the surface. The #4 Shaft is an important part of Lucky Friday’s future as it provides access to the highest-grade ore in the mine’s history which is located in the Gold Hunter/Lucky Friday Expansion Area.

Community Partner

Hecla is the second-largest private employer in Shoshone County, Idaho.

The mine is located approximately one mile east of Mullan, in Shoshone County and 55 miles east of Coeur d’Alene along Interstate 90 (I-90) where the Silver Shaft head frame may be easily observed near exit ramp 69.

The plant has a full surface facility complete with a 1,000 tons of ore per day mill, which produces silver-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.

Underhand Closed Bench (UCB) Mining Increases Safety and Productivity

Learn about Hecla’s Underhand Closed Bench (UCB) mining process and how this innovative method is increasing safety and productivity at the Lucky Friday Mine.

Lucky Friday – A Day in the Life

The Lucky Friday has a long history in north Idaho and will continue to mine essential minerals responsibly for years to come.

Local Insights

Local Benefits
Safety & Health
Work with Us
Lucky Friday Provides Economic and Social Benefits to the Local Community

Lucky Friday Provides Economic and Social Benefits to the Local Community

Hecla is the largest private sector employer and taxpayer in Wallace/Mullan, Idaho. Our focus is on providing safe and sustainable operations and offering competitive career jobs to the local residents. Today, we provide more than 320 direct jobs in the communities near our mine. Our work at Lucky Friday also makes a direct economic impact of more than $70 million annually in wages, benefits, payment of taxes and license fees, purchase of goods and services, and local donations and contributions.

We pride ourselves on being a strong community partner and that begins with engaging with community stakeholders. Hecla is a member of the Silver Valley Economic Development Corporation which includes participating in monthly meetings to provide input and understanding how issues in the Silver Valley could impact the community and Lucky Friday. We also work with the Wallace Chamber of Commerce and Silver Valley Chamber of Commerce on initiatives to promote local businesses and events. For example, during the pandemic, we partnered with the local business organizations near our mine to provide over $36,000 worth of “Hecla Bucks” vouchers for Hecla employees to redeem for purchase of goods and services at Idaho businesses. We also donated money to restore the Wallace city pool and we invest in and support local education and community initiatives through donations and employee volunteerism.

Lucky Friday Provides Economic and Social Benefits to the Local Community
Protecting our Workforce
Safety Recognition

Protecting our Workforce

The safety and health of our workforce is our highest priority, and we strive for continuous improvement in our safety performance year over year.  Continuous improvement for safety means providing training, interactive meetings, and regular briefings on updated regulations, guidelines, and techniques for management and workers. Hecla’s Take 5 Safety Focus program fosters continuous improvement by improving job site awareness and decreasing exposure to high and critical risk activities at each job site.

In addition, we have set safety performance targets specifically for Lucky Friday that exceed the national average for our industry.  Company-wide, in 2020, Hecla had its safest year in company history and had a 40% decrease in reportable incidents.

Our safety strategy also focuses on visible and felt leadership as well as individual ownership of safety. We provide our employees with the safety training that is necessary to ensure a safe workplace. Our Hecla Safety and Health Management System reflects HMS process training and orientation to ensure that our training complies with the Mine Safety & Health Administration (MSHA) regulations in the United States.

Protecting our Workforce

Safety Recognition

In 2018, Lucky Friday was recognized for earning the 2018 Sentinels of Safety Award, the industry’s most prestigious safety award, from the National Mining Association (NMA). The award is presented annually to mines with the best safety records and those that have worked the most employee hours without experiencing a lost-time injury. The Lucky Friday won the small underground metal mine category for achieving 114,829 injury-free hours. To be considered for the award, a company must have a minimum of 4,000 injury-free hours and the data must be provided to MSHA.

Safety Recognition
Safeguarding the Environment
Water Recycling
Site Closure
Environmental Recognition

Safeguarding the Environment

A major part of being a supportive community partner is safely extracting metals and efficiently using natural resources. Hecla’s Environmental Management System (EMS) is a 13-element plan-do-check-act approach that ensures continuous improvement around issues including obligation registers, management of change, air quality, water and waste management, energy management, training, and reporting. This system promotes a culture of environmental awareness and innovation throughout the company.

Safeguarding the Environment

Water Recycling

The Lucky Friday focuses on recycling and reusing water for milling and processing to help offset our freshwater withdrawal. In 2020, we recycled 95% of the process water at the Lucky Friday.

Water Recycling

Site Closure

Wherever possible, we perform concurrent reclamation while operations in other parts of the mine may still be in use. For example, we have closed two older tailings storage facilities and are in the process of closing a third at the Lucky Friday.

Site Closure

Environmental Recognition

In 2019, Lucky Friday was one of only four businesses to receive the State of Idaho’s Pollution Prevention Award in 2019 for environmental stewardship practices at the mine.

Specifically, the mine was recognized for:

  •  Implementing a water recycling program that reduced the average freshwater use in process by 95 percent.
  •  Investing in state-of-the art water treatment facilities that reduced the concentration of lead and zinc in the water discharged by over 95 percent.
  •  Reducing waste generation by minimizing hazardous waste, improving recycling,
  • and repurposing.
  •  Partnering with the Idaho Department of Transportation to repurpose as capping
  • material approximately 120,000 cubic yards of waste highway material as part of
  • our tailings’ impoundment reclamation project.

Hecla’s Lucky Friday Mine Earns Environmental Stewardship Award from the State of Idaho - YouTube

The Lucky Friday is always focused on the future and how to further minimize our impact on the environment. The mine has set the following short-term and long-term environmental targets:

  •  Efficient use of natural resources
    • Reduce site-wide fresh water and energy consumption intensity.
    • Reduce energy and water consumption intensity 5% every 3 years which would ultimately result in a 50% reduction in fresh water and energy consumption by 2050.
      •  In 2021, our goal is to support this initiative by reducing the water and energy intensity of the site to 1,300 gallons of fresh water per ton milled and 350 kWh per ton milled.
  •  Advance the Zero Discharge Initiative
    •  In 2021, our goals for this initiative are to:
      • Complete the installation of the recycle loop to direct treated effluent from the water treatment plant 002 back underground to be used again,
      •  Identify opportunities to further reduce freshwater consumption,
      • Research opportunities to recycle effluent from water treatment plant 003,
      • Research modifications to the mine cooling system to reduce freshwater consumption and support recycling the effluent.
  • Environmental Compliance
    • In 2021, our target is 0 permit exceedances and environmental non-compliances.
  • Emissions Reduction
    • In 2021, we plan to develop a system to track and report the Lucky Friday’s emissions and carbon intensity.

Water Stewardship is a Top Priority at Hecla - YouTube

Environmental Recognition
Embracing Innovation
Worker Retraining

Embracing Innovation

Hecla is an industry leader in adopting the latest technologies to enhance the health and safety of our employees, improve environmental performance, and maximize mine-operating efficiency and productivity.

At the Lucky Friday, we are focused on the following future technologies:

  •  A new mining method that would make our operations even safer and more efficient.
  •  Designing and upgrading the existing fiber backbone underground to help better monitor our people and our equipment.
  • Providing employees with electronic tags that can be used to track their position underground.

Hecla Promotes a Culture of Innovation - YouTube

Embracing Innovation

Worker Retraining

Hecla's goal is to ensure that employees are able to manage and execute emerging technologies that make our workplace safer and more efficient. For example, we are working on advancing worker progression skill training in partnership with North Idaho College and the Workforce Training Center in Coeur d’Alene to equip the Lucky Friday hourly workforce in expanding their skills sets.

Worker Retraining
Technical Report Summary-S-K 1300 Report

Technical Report Summary-S-K 1300 Report

Technical Report Summary

Technical Report Summary-S-K 1300 Report
About Us

About Us

Lucky Friday is a deep underground silver, lead, and zinc mine located in the Coeur d’Alene Mining District in northern Idaho. The mine began operating in 1942 and celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2017. Thanks to the #4 Shaft project which is now complete and operational, the mine is expected to have another 20-30 years of mine life. Lucky Friday is located one mile east of Mullan, Idaho, and is adjacent to U.S. Interstate 90.

Lucky Friday – A Day in the Life


If you’re looking for a career in mining, look here. To apply for current job openings at Lucky Friday, complete a Hecla Lucky Friday Application for Employment and submit it as detailed below. Applicants are also welcome to submit a resume with the application.

Applications may be sent via e-mail ([email protected]) or faxed to 208.545.3327.

About Us

Reserves & Resources

Information with respect to proven and probable ore reserves, measured, and inferred resources is set forth below.

Mineral Reserves & Resources
(As of December 31, 2022 unless otherwise noted)






(000 oz)

(000 oz)



Proven Reserves (2,4)








Probable Reserves (2,4)








Proven and Probable Reserves 








Measured Resources (12,14)







Indicated Resources (12,14)






M&I Resources (12,14)








Inferred Resources (12,14)








Totals may not represent the sum of parts due to rounding.

(2) Mineral reserves are based on $17/oz silver, $1600/oz gold, $0.90/lb lead, $1.15/lb zinc, unless otherwise stated. All Mineral Reserves are reported in-situ with estimates of mining dilution and mining loss.
(4) The reserve NSR cut-off values for Lucky Friday are $241.34/ton for the 30 Vein and $268.67/ton for the Intermediate Veins; metallurgical recoveries (actual 2022): 95% for silver, 95% for lead, and 88% for zinc

Note: All estimates are in-situ. Resources are exclusive of reserves.

(12) Mineral resources are based on $1700/oz gold, $21/oz silver, $1.15/lb lead, $1.35/lb zinc and $3.00/lb copper, unless otherwise stated.
(14) The resource NSR cut-off values for Lucky Friday are $200.57/ton for the 30 Vein, $227.90/ton for the Intermediate Veins and $198.48/ton for the Lucky Friday Veins;
metallurgical recoveries (actual 2022): 95% for silver, 95% for lead, and 88% for zinc.

Reporting requirements in the United States for disclosure of mineral properties as of December 31, 2020 and earlier are governed by the SEC’s Securities Act Industry Guide 7, entitled “Description of Property by Issuers Engaged or to be Engaged in Significant Mining Operations” (Guide 7). Effective January 1, 2021, the SEC has issued new rules rescinding Guide 7. Mining companies are not required to comply with the new rules until the first fiscal year beginning on or after January 1, 2021. Thus, the Company will be required to comply with the new rules when filing its Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2021. The Company is also a “reporting issuer” under Canadian securities laws, which require estimates of mineral resources and reserves to be prepared in accordance with Canadian National Instrument 43-101 (NI 43-101). NI 43-101 requires all disclosure of estimates of potential mineral resources and reserves to be disclosed in accordance with its requirements. Such Canadian information is included herein to satisfy the Company’s “public disclosure” obligations under Regulation FD of the SEC and to provide U.S. holders with ready access to information publicly available in Canada.

Reporting requirements in the United States for disclosure of mineral properties under Guide 7 compared to the new SEC rules (Item 1300 of Regulation S-K under the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934) and the requirements in Canada under NI 43-101 standards are substantially different. This document contains a summary of certain estimates of the Company, not only of Proven and Probable reserves within the meaning of Guide 7, but also of mineral resource and mineral reserve estimates estimated in accordance with the new SEC rules and definitional standards of the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum referred to in NI 43-101.  Under Guide 7, the term “reserve” means that part of a mineral deposit that can be economically and legally extracted or produced at the time of the reserve determination. The term “economically”, as used in the definition of reserve, means that profitable extraction or production has been established or analytically demonstrated to be viable and justifiable under reasonable investment and market assumptions. The term “legally”, as used in the definition of reserve, does not imply that all permits needed for mining and processing have been obtained or that other legal issues have been completely resolved. However, for a reserve to exist, Hecla must have a justifiable expectation, based on applicable laws and regulations, that issuance of permits or resolution of legal issues necessary for mining and processing at a particular deposit will be accomplished in the ordinary course and in a timeframe consistent with Hecla’s current mine plans.  The terms “Measured resources”, “Indicated resources,” and “Inferred resources” are mining terms as defined in accordance with the new SEC rules and NI 43-101. These terms are not defined under Guide 7 and prior to January 1, 2021, were not normally permitted to be used in reports and registration statements filed with the SEC in the United States, except where required to be disclosed by foreign law. The term “resource” does not equate to the term “reserve”. Under Guide 7, the material described herein as “Indicated resources” and “Measured resources” would be characterized as “mineralized material” and is permitted to be disclosed in tonnage and grade only, not ounces.  The category of “inferred resources” is not recognized by Guide 7.   Investors are cautioned not to assume that any part or all of the mineral deposits in such categories will ever be converted into Proven or Probable reserves. “Resources” have a great amount of uncertainty as to their existence, and great uncertainty as to their economic and legal feasibility. It cannot be assumed that all or any part of such a “resource” will ever be upgraded to a higher category or will ever be economically extracted. Investors are cautioned not to assume that all or any part of a “resource” exists or is economically or legally mineable. Investors are also especially cautioned that the mere fact that such resources may be referred to in ounces of silver and/or gold, rather than in tons of mineralization and grades of silver and/or gold estimated per ton, is not an indication that such material will ever result in mined ore which is processed into commercial silver or gold.

Operational Highlights


(years ended December 31)






Silver (ounces)






Lead (tons)






Zinc (tons)





Lucky Friday #4 Shaft Project in 2011


Proven and probable reserves are currently 75.0 million ounces of silver, 467,670 tons of lead and 199,530 tons of zinc. Measured and indicated resources are 58.1 million ounces for silver, 400,240 tons for lead and 187,000 tons for zinc. Inferred resources include 31.3 million ounces of silver, 224,670 tons of lead, and 84,700 tons of zinc. Based on these reserves, Lucky Friday has a 17-year reserve plan.

Future Plans

Our goal is to access more resource to further extend the mine life at Lucky Friday. Currently, we believe only one-third of the tons and one-half of the ounces that are contained underground at Lucky Friday are in the current mine life. Hecla sees great organic growth opportunities at Lucky Friday.

A group of miners carrying something while walking.
An image of worker mining.

Geology and Mining

There have been two ore-bearing structures mined at the Lucky Friday Mine. The first, mined through 2001, was the Lucky Friday vein, a fissure vein typical of many in the Coeur d’Alene Mining District. The orebody is located in the Revett Formation, which is known to provide excellent host rocks for a number of orebodies in the Coeur d’Alene Mining District. The Lucky Friday vein strikes northeasterly and dips steeply to the south with an average width of six to seven feet. Its principal ore minerals are galena and tetrahedrite with minor amounts of sphalerite and chalcopyrite. The ore occurs as a single continuous orebody in and along the Lucky Friday vein. The major part of the orebody has extended from the 1,200-foot level to and below the 6,020-foot level.

The second ore-bearing structure, known as the Lucky Friday Expansion Area, is located in the Wallace Formation. It has been mined since 1997 pursuant to an operating agreement with Silver Hunter Mining Company (“Silver Hunter”), our wholly owned subsidiary. During 1991, we discovered several mineralized structures containing some high-grade silver ores in an area known as the Gold Hunter property, approximately 5,000 feet northwest of the then existing Lucky Friday workings. This discovery led to the development of the Gold Hunter property on the 4900 level. In 2008, through Silver Hunter, we completed the acquisition of all of the assets of Independence Lead Mines Company (“Independence”), including all future interest or royalty obligations to Independence and the mining claims pertaining to the operating agreement with Hecla Limited that was assigned to Silver Hunter.

The principal mining method at the Lucky Friday unit is ramp access, cut and fill. This method utilizes rubber-tired equipment to access the veins through ramps developed outside of the orebody. Once a cut is taken along the strike of the vein, it is backfilled with cemented tailings and the next cut is accessed, either above or below, from the ramp system.

There are three main phases to the mining process: development, production, and backfilling.

Development – the tunneling or accessing phase

Using plans from the geology and engineering departments, miners drive tunnels 12ft high by 12ft wide to access the various ore zones to be mined.

Production – the extraction phase

The method of extraction depends upon the geological nature of the orebody involved. Some of the narrower orebodies can be extracted using conventional mining methods (slushers and jackleg drills), mining as narrow as three feet. In other, more massive orebodies, mechanized mining methods are employed using large rubber-tired equipment to mine widths of up to 20 feet.

Backfilling – the replacement phase

The voids created during the production phase are filled up with a combination of mill waste (tailings) and cement. This “backfilling” process stabilizes the production voids and allows extraction of the ore beside, above, and even below the backfilled area.

Lucky Friday’s Social
& Economic Benefit

Lucky Friday is the second largest private employer in Shoshone County, Idaho, and is an integral part of the community through volunteerism and investment. In 2022, we had a direct economic impact in these local communities of more than $146 million, including, including over $42 million in wages, $12 million in taxes and fees, and $90 million in purchases from vendors.