Brian Schweitzer

South Africa company to buy Stillwater Mining Co. for $2.2B

The company that owns Montana's largest mining complex announced Friday that it will be acquired by a South African company for $2.2 billion in a deal that requires U.S. government approval.

Sibanye Gold Limited will buy Littleton, Colorado-based Stillwater Mining Company under a merger agreement expected to close in the second quarter of 2017, said Stillwater Chief Executive Officer Mick McMullen.

Sibanye (sih-BAHN'-yay) also will assume $500 million of Stillwater's debt.

Stillwater is the only U.S. producer of platinum and palladium, precious metals used in catalytic converters to reduce pollution from cars and tracks, and as jewelry. It employs more than 1,400...