Stillwater Mining Company

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Sulfidic serpentintite platinum-palladium ore, Stillwater Mine. This ore sample grades to around 2.5 ounces of Pd-Pt per ton of rock, with a Pd-Pt ratio of about 3:1.

Stillwater Mining Company (NYSESWC, TSXSWC.U) is a palladium and platinum mining company with headquarters located at Billings, Montana, United States. It is the only palladium and platinum producer in the USA.[1] The only other North America based palladium/platinum producer is North American Palladium, located in Canada. The current President and Chief Executive Officer is Mick McMullen.[2]

In December 2010, the Company acquired Marathon PGM Corporation.[3] It was renamed Stillwater Canada.[4][5]

Processing Mined Material[edit]

Stillwater Mining Company is engaged in the development, extraction, processing, refining and marketing of palladium, platinum and associated metals (platinum group metals or PGMs) from a geological formation in the Stillwater igneous complex in south central Montana known as the J-M Reef and from the recycling of spent catalytic converters. The J-M Reef is the only known significant source of platinum group metals inside the United States and one of the significant resources outside South Africa and Russia. Associated by-product metals at the Company’s operations include minor amounts of gold, silver, nickel and copper. The J-M Reef is a narrow but extensive mineralized zone containing PGMs, which has been traced over a strike length of approximately 28 miles (45 km).

The company conducts mining operations at the Stillwater Mine near Nye, Montana and at the East Boulder Mine near Big Timber, Montana. Both mines are located on the J-M Reef. The company operates concentrating plants at each mining operation to upgrade mined production to a concentrate form. The company operates a smelter and base metal refinery at Columbus, Montana at which it further purifies the mined production to a PGM-rich filter cake. The filter cake is shipped to third-party custom refiners for final refining before being sold.

The company recycles spent catalyst material to recover PGMs at the smelter and refinery. The company has a longterm catalyst sourcing agreement and spot contracts with other suppliers who ship spent catalysts to the company for processing to recover PGMs. The company smelts and refines the spent catalysts by the same process as the mined production is purified.

Business[edit]

The company has long-term sales agreements with several auto companies. One of these agreements expired in the fourth quarter of 2006 and the remaining ones will expire by the end of 2010. The company also had sales agreements under which it sold palladium from the stock collected in the 2003 Norilsk Nickel transaction.[6] This sales program ended in 2006 when the company sold the remainder of its palladium stores by the first quarter of 2006. Norilsk Nickel had bought a 51% stake in Stillwater in 2003, but in November 2010 Norilsk Nickel announced plans to sell this stake.[7]

Controversies[edit]

In 2002, two class action suits were filed against the company, wherein stakeholders claimed that the Stillwater was artificially inflating the price of its securities.[8] On Nov 1, 2004, Stillwater Mining restated its third quarter results, during which payment for debt issuance costs was $3.8 million, not a receipt of $0.8 million as originally reported.[9]

In 2006, a group of shareholders won a $2.6 million settlement against the company for "misleading statements about the company's financial performance" and its ore reserves.[10]

References[edit]

External links[edit]