Stillwater Mining Co is engaged in the development, extraction, processing, smelting, and refining of palladium, platinum and associated metals from a geological formation in south-central Montana known as the J-M Reef and from the recycling of spent catalytic converters. The Company is also engaged in expanding its mining operations on the J-M Reef, and holds the Marathon PGM-copper property adjacent to Lake Superior in northern Ontario, Canada and the Altar copper-gold property in the province of San Juan, Argentina. The Company conducts mining operations at the Stillwater Mine near Nye, Montana and at the East Boulder Mine south of Big Timber, Montana. The Company operates concentrating plants at each mining operation to upgrade the mined production into a concentrated form. The Company operates a smelter and base metal refinery at Columbus, Montana which further upgrades the mined concentrates into a PGM-rich filter cake. The Company has three expansion developments along the J-M Reef. The first of these, known as Blitz, will develop underground drifts on two levels from the current Stillwater Mine toward the eastern extremity of the reef. The second development, known as Graham Creek, is now well advanced, expanding to the west in areas adjacent to the existing operations at the East Boulder Mine. The third internal expansion effort, the Lower Far West development, is located within the Stillwater Mine and is utilizing available manpower and resources to accelerate development of an underground mining area located about three miles west of the mineshaft and below the existing Upper West operations. Besides processing mine concentrates, the Company also recycles spent catalyst material acquired from third-parties at the smelter and base metal refinery to recover the contained PGMs - palladium, platinum and rhodium. The Company has catalyst sourcing arrangements with various suppliers who ship spent catalysts to the Company for processing to recover the PGMs. The Company smelts and refines the spent catalysts within the same process stream as the mined production. The Company both purchases recycling materials for its own account and processes them on behalf of others for a fee.
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