MULLAN, Idaho -

Hecla Mining Co. has fallen short of its planned hostile takeover a competitor in northern Idaho's silver mining market.

Company officials announced Tuesday that shareholders for U.S. Silver Corp. rejected Hecla's cash buyout offer -- estimated at $109 million.

The shareholders voted instead to merge with Canadian firm RX Gold & Silver to form a new company. U.S. Silver shareholders will own about 70 percent of the new company, whose assets include the Galena Mine in Idaho's Silver Valley and a the Drumlummon gold mine northwest of Helena, Mont.

Hecla operates the Lucky Friday Mine in Mullan, and company officials announced the mine is on track to reopen in early 2013. Lucky Friday was shut down by federal regulators in January after a series of accidents led to the deaths or injuries of miners.