July 10, 2007 / 7:23 PM / 11 years ago

UPDATE 1-Stillwater Mining labor union calls for strike

(Adds details, share movement)

July 10 (Reuters) - Platinum and palladium miner Stillwater Mining Co. SWC.N said union employees at its Stillwater mine and Columbus processing facilities have called for a strike from Wednesday.

The union did not ratify a tentative agreement reached with the company on July 2, Stillwater said. In the meantime, production and processing operations at both facilities are continuing.

In fiscal year 2006, the Stillwater mine accounted for almost 70 percent of the company’s total production of platinum-group metal, producing about 409,000 ounces. Rest of the production came from the company’s East Boulder mine.

“A strike will be economically painful... We intend to return to the negotiating table as soon as possible and are hopeful that an acceptable agreement can be reached,” Chief Executive Frank McAllister said in a statement.

Shares of the company were down 0.76 percent at $11.82 in afternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Esha Dey and Gurdeep Singh in Bangalore)

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