Hecla Mining Co. officials have announced that their Greens Creek mine in Alaska, one of the world’s biggest silver mines, has received the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Mine Safety and Health Technology Innovations Award.

“I continue to be impressed by the safety initiatives undertaken by employees of Hecla,” said CEO Phillips S. Baker Jr. “Never satisfied with the status quo, they are always looking for ways to improve the safety and efficiency.” The award was presented at a dinner hosted by the National Mining Association (NMA) in Washington, D.C., on October 30.

The Greens Creek mine, located near Juneau in Alaska’s southeast, received the award for the implementation of a collision avoidance system for its surface mobile equipment. This system, created by SAFEMINE Technology USA, is both ground-based and employed in aviation, utilizing  GPS and radio technology to monitor vehicle speed and the proximity of vehicles to one another.

Hecla’s Greens Creek mine is one of the world’s largest, lowest-cost primary silver mines. Operations lie 18 miles south of Juneau on Admiralty Island by the Tongass National Forest and employ 400 people; Greens Creek also produces zinc, lead and gold.