GM Says No to Baucus, Tester Over Stillwater Contract

By Beacon Staff

BILLINGS – General Motors Co. has said “no” to two U.S. Senators from Montana who wanted the taxpayer-backed automaker to restore a contract for precious metals mined in their state.

As it emerges from bankruptcy, GM is keeping contracts with suppliers in Russia and South Africa while cutting ties with Stillwater Mining Co., one of Montana’s largest private employers.

Senators Max Baucus and Jon Tester, both Democrats, had said the government’s multibillion dollar stake in GM compelled the automaker to give preference to Stillwater over the foreign suppliers.

Auto companies use small amounts of platinum and related metals for use in catalytic converters that control pollution. GM also disclosed Friday that about half of those metals will continue to come from a Pennsylvania company.