3/20/2008--Big Creek, ID, USA..At the end of a shift, Larry Rihtarshich hangs his tag used to keep track of miners working below ground at the Sunshine Mine in Idaho. With the price of silver climbing, Idaho's once struggling silver mining industry is making a comeback...Sunshine Mine is situated in the Coeur d'Alene Mining District of North Idaho at Big Creek, 8 miles southeast of Kellogg, Shoshone County, Idaho. The mine has produced more than 365 million ounces from 1884 until its closure in early 2001. It was discovered and initially mined on a small-scale by True and Dennis Blake, and then passed into corporate hands after their deaths in the early 1900s. Sunshine Mining Company owned and operated the mine in subsequent decades and produced silver from at least 7 vein systems. Two of these vein systems, Sunshine and Chester, have each produced more than 100 million ounces of silver to date. The mine closed in 2001 because of low silver prices...Sterling Mining Company acquired the rights to the Sunshine Mine in 2003 and has reopened the mine, hiring local residents to come back to mine...©2008 Stuart Isett. All rights reserved.