Montana miner inks sales contract with UK company

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BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Montana's largest mining company says it has reached a five-year contract with a maker of pollution control equipment to purchase all of its mined palladium and a significant share of its platinum.

Stillwater Mining Co. of Billings on Friday announced the agreement with Johnson Matthey PLC, a United Kingdom-based chemicals company.

Matthey refines precious metals and manufactures catalytic converters used to control pollution from motor vehicles. Platinum and palladium are used in the converters.

Stillwater is the only U.S.-based producer of the metals. It has two mines in the Beartooth Mountains in south-central Montana, and a recycling plant and smelter in Columbus.

The company's share price on the New York Stock Exchange rose more than 4 percent to $16.29 in Friday trading.

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