Tester tours Montana’s Stillwater Mine

Senator impressed by hard work, safety and respect for the mountains

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Senator Jon Tester says he is impressed by the hard work and dedication to safety of miners at Montana’s Stillwater Mine.

Tester on Saturday toured the mine and visited with its employees near Nye, Montana.

“The folks here work hard, they’re dedicated to safety, and they’re producing a valuable product in a responsible way that respects the mountain and Montana’s outdoors,” Tester said. “Montanans are proud of Stillwater and they should be.”

Tester reassured miners and mine executives that he’s trying to get General Motors to reconsider its recent decision to stop buying palladium from Stillwater Mine. Palladium is a rare precious metal used to make catalytic converters in cars and trucks.

“I can make no promises,” Tester told miners after his tour. “But I can make you one promise. And that is I will work as hard as I can to make things right.”

Last month, a New York City judge upheld G.M.’s decision to pull out of its palladium contract with Stillwater Mine, choosing instead to do business with South Africa and Russia.

Tester and Senator Max Baucus immediately responded, demanding the company reconsider its decision—especially because G.M. accepted $50 billion in taxpayer bailout money. Tester last year voted against the multi-billion dollar bailout in part because he wasn’t convinced G.M. would use the money to create American jobs.

“Unfortunately, I was right,” said Tester, a member of the Senate Banking Committee.

Tester also launched a website, tester.senate.gov/stillwater, where Montanans can submit their comments about the situation. Tester will forward the comments to General Motors and to the newly formed White House Auto Task Force. 


Senator tours platinum mine
Billings Gazette
Published August 1, 2009

Tester tours Stillwater Nye site
Aired August 1, 2009
Tester’s Tour
Aired August 1, 2009

Tester Tours Embattled Stillwater Mine
The Associated Press
Published August 2, 2009