US-based palladium and platinum mining company Stillwater Mining has announced its decision to lay off 119 employees citing a weak platinum group metals (PGM) market.

The company’s latest decision will affect employees working at the Stillwater Mine and Columbus processing facilities and is part of its previously announced reorganisation plans.

Stillwater Mining also said as part of its modified mine plan, it will now focus on the profitable mining areas within the company and further plans to boost production from the East Boulder Mine.

According to the company, on 12 June, the labour contract with employees represented by the USW International Union Local 11-0001 at the processing facilities expired.

At the same time, employees working at these sites voted twice and rejected a tentative labour agreement that was reached on 27 May.

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“The new agreement is expected to come into effect on 1 September.”

The agreement was recommended by the USW International Union Local 11-0001.

Employees have continued to work under the terms of the previously expired contract following the votes.

The company notified the union on 30 July that it would implement its final contract offer, which is similar to the agreement that was previously rejected by the represented employees as negotiations had reached a standoff.

The new agreement is expected to come into effect on 1 September.

Image: Stillwater will lay off employees working at the Stillwater Mine and Columbus processing facilities. Photo: courtesy of Suat Eman/