COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - Hecla Mining Co. will close its Rosebud gold mine in Nevada in early August.
Company officials have been predicting that the ore at the mine would be exhausted by year's end.
''We knew the project was about this length,'' Hecla spokeswoman Vicki Veltkamp said Thursday.
Mining will cease by the end of July. Ore processing will continue into August.
About 75 hourly and salaried employees will be laid off. Another 16 workers will remain to begin reclamation and explore for other mining opportunities.
The mine near Winnemucca, Nev., is a 50-50 joint venture between Hecla and Newmont Mining Corp. Last year, the Rosebud mine won a national mining safety award. As of Thursday, workers at the underground mine completed 967 days without a time-loss accident.
The Rosebud Mine has consistently been a low-cost producer for Hecla, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Art Brown said in a statement.
The mine has produced about 375,000 ounces of gold since it opened in 1997. About 10 percent of Hecla's 1999 revenues came from the mine.
The closure leaves Hecla with only one primary gold producer, the La Cammorra Mine in Venezuela. The company closed its La Choya gold mine in Mexico in December 1998.