Business Week – BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Montana’s bolo tie-wearing former governor teamed up Monday with an unlikely ally — a New York hedge fund — to launch a fight for control of a precious metals mining company that sunk more than $500 million into projects in Canada and Argentina that face uncertain prospects.
Democrat Brian Schweitzer said he’s intervening along with the Clinton Group hedge fund to save Stillwater Mining Co. and its 1,500 employees from the same fate that befell Montana’s legendary Anaconda Mining Co. That copper industry giant cratered after the Chilean government took over much of its foreign assets in the 1970s, leading to large-scale layoffs among Montana miners.
Schweitzer wants Stillwater to refocus on its two Montana mines. Billings-based Stillwater operates the only platinum and palladium mines in the U.S., deep beneath southern Montana’s rugged Beartooth Mountains.
The former governor owns 25,000 shares of Stillwater, worth roughly $325,000 at current prices. The Clinton Group holds 1.3 million shares, giving it a 1 percent stake in the company.