Company contests citations following miner's death

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COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho (AP) -- The president of Hecla Mining Company says a report by a federal agency does not support four citations resulting in $1 million in fines the agency issued following a cave-in that killed a miner in April at the Lucky Friday Mine in northern Idaho.

Phil Baker on Friday in a news release said that in his opinion the report by the Mine Safety and Health Administration "does not substantiate MSHA's previously issued citations."

Federal investigators say a decision by managers of the silver mine to remove ore from a pillar providing support contributed to the collapse of a tunnel that killed 53-year-old Larry Marek.

In a different accident, 26-year-old Brandon Lloyd Gray died Nov. 19 as a result of injuries suffered several days earlier at the mine.