Stillwater Mining Co. Recovers Without GM's Business

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) -- A Montana mining company that warned of possible layoffs after General Motors Co. canceled a major contract says higher platinum and palladium prices have made up for the lost business.

Stillwater Mining Co. said Wednesday that precious metal prices have climbed considerably since hitting bottom last year. The company says that "almost entirely offset" the loss of the GM contract.

Columbus-based Stillwater's two mines in the Beartooth Mountains are the only sources of platinum and palladium in the nation.

The metals are used in vehicle catalytic converters to screen out pollution. GM dropped Stillwater as a supplier when the automaker emerged from bankruptcy protection in July.

Stillwater says platinum and palladium production from its mines is up a combined 9 percent for the three months that ended Sept. 30.

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