BOISE -- Mining is a dangerous job in Idaho.
Nationally, there were 21 coal miners killed on the job in 2011, down from 48 in 2010. This is the second lowest annual death count since the federal government started keeping track over a century ago.
But for the gold and silver mines, like Lucky Friday Mine in northern Idaho, there were 16 deaths this year, including two Idaho men. According to the Federal Mine Safety and Health Administration, there were 23 deaths in 2010.
In April, 53-year-old Larry Marek died when the section of the mine he was working caved-in.
And in November, 26-year-old Brandon Gray died when he was trapped in falling rock.
The Hecla Mining Company says operations are currently suspended at the Lucky Friday Mine, following another rock collapse last month.