WALLACE, Idaho -

Facing decreasing silver prices, US Silver and Gold announced Tuesday it's cutting its workforce by 126 personnel at the Galena Mine in Wallace, Idaho as part of a wide-ranging cost-saving effort.

A press release from the company said that overall tonnage hauled out of the mine increased by 10-percent, production increased 19-percent and cash costs decreased by 8-percent, the company was implementing what it calls a "Small Mine Plan," which will scale back operations at the Galena Mine, which in turn will trigger layoffs.

According to US Silver and Gold President and CEO Darren Blasutti, the decision to scale back operations is being done in response to declining silver prices.

"The ongoing decline in the price of silver required us to look for further cost savings in order to be profitable and protect our balance sheet going forward.  We have therefore taken the difficult step of identifying additional strategic measures that will allow us to cut costs over the immediate and longer term," Blasutti said in the press release.

"I deeply regret the impact this will have on our employees, who have worked hard to help us achieve the progress we have made," he added.

As part of the Small Mine Plan, the company plans to scale back the number of operating stopes, cut staffing from 351 down to 221 personnel, and to put both the Coeur Shaft and Mill as well as several levels of the Galena Mine into care and maintenance mode.

The company report added that as a part of their cost reductions, the CEO and company board of directors will take a voluntary 20-percent pay cut, and all members of the executive management team would take a 10-percent pay cut.