Montana Precious Metals Miner Reports Production Dip

By Beacon Staff

BILLINGS – A Montana mining company says its palladium and platinum production dropped slightly in 2012 but is poised to pick up in coming years with a planned expansion.

Billings-based Stillwater Mining Co. said Tuesday it produced 513,700 ounces of the precious metals in 2012. That exceeds the company’s earlier expectations, but was about 4,000 ounces lower than 2011 production.

Stillwater also recycles the metals, which are used in catalytic converters for cars, jewelry and for industrial purposes. Recycling volumes dipped about 41,000 ounces in 2012 to 445,200 ounces.

The company says the first of two planned expansions could begin producing by late 2014, with 75,000 ounces of new production annually by 2017.

Stillwater shares closed up 20 cents, or about 1.4 percent, at $13.90 Tuesday on the New York Stock Exchange.