Stillwater lays off 119 workers

Stillwater Mining (NYSE:SWC) announced yesterday that it is reducing its workforce by 119 workers due to a "deteriorating" PGM market environment.

In the last year, spot platinum prices have slumped by almost a third.

Most of the layoffs will happen at the Stillwater Mine and Columbus processing facilities, located in southern Montana. The company says it is reorganizing.

"In addition, the company has modified its mine plan to focus on the most profitable mining areas within the Stillwater Mine and will continue efforts to maximize production from the East Boulder Mine. The Company will continue to closely monitor market conditions and may make other adjustments as necessary."

The company has been unable to come to an agreement with its unionized members for a new contract. The current agreement expired in June 2015.

Stillwater Mining is the only U.S. miner of platinum group metals and the largest primary producer of PGMs outside of South Africa and the Russian Federation.

In the past year Stillwater Mining is down by nearly half to $9.10. The 52 week range is $19.14 high and $8.37 low.

Glencore is also struggling with low PGM prices. The company is likely to close its Eland platinum mine in South Africa threatening 1,000 jobs.

Image by Mirek Nowaczyk /