WALLACE, Idaho -- U.S. Silver and Gold has announced the layoff of just over one-third of its employees at its silver mine in northern Idaho due to decreasing silver prices.

The company announced Tuesday that it was laying off 126 of 351 employees at the Galena Mine Complex near Wallace.

The layoffs at the Wallace mine come less than two months after the company announced it was shutting down the Drumlummon gold mine northwest of Helena, Mont., and laying off just over 100 workers.

Producing an ounce of silver from the Galena mine costs about $16 while silver prices have dropped from $30 an ounce to about $20 this year.

Company officials say work at the Galena mine will focus on areas with higher grade ore to decrease production costs.

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