Montana gov blasts GM plan to cancel mine contract
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer is asking the Obama administration to force General Motors Corp. to honor its contract with a platinum mine instead of buying the precious metal from overseas.
GM wants to cancel its contract with the Stillwater mine as part of its bankruptcy reorganization that infused the company with $50 billion in government loans.
Platinum is mined in just two other countries — Russia and South Africa — and Schweitzer says canceling the contract would put the United States at a strategic risk and hurt the mining industry.
Stillwater Mining Co. of Columbus, Mont., is the only platinum and palladium producer in the country. It is highly dependent on sales to GM and Ford Motor Co., which use the metal in catalytic converters.
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