Barrett Speaks on MTPR

Barrett Speaks on MTPR


Highlands College’s Director of Business & Community Outreach, Evan Barrett, will be heard Thursday, June 6th on Montana Public Radio as part of the MTPR “Commentaries” feature, which runs on the evening news.  Barrett’s commentary compares Stillwater Mining’s recent activities with those of the now defunct Anaconda Copper Mining Company (ACM), thirty years after the last Anaconda/ARCO copper miner laid down his tools in Butte.

The rise of the ACM to industrial giant was the story of Montana’s economy, government and politics for almost 100 years.  However, in an ill-advised grab at greater profits in the mid-20th Century, ACM made risky foreign investments instead of focusing on its core Montana business.  ACM ultimately declined to the level of corporate takeover bait, finally shocking Montana with its complete failure, going from 7500 workers in 1971 to only seventeen workers at the completion of the 1983 closure.  While many believe that kind of decline and fall could never happen again,  Barrett, in his commentary, points out troubling similarities between the actions of Stillwater Mining Company and ACM prior to Stillwater’s recent Board reorganization, led by former Governor Brian Schweitzer and The Clinton Group.

“The intervention of the Schweitzer/Clinton Group appears to be producing results,” says Barrett in his commentary.  “Now, Montana and its hardworking citizens may not be condemned to repeat with Stillwater Mining the disastrous history and economics of the Anaconda Company.”

Dr. John Garic, Dean of Highlands College, said “This commentary is an eye-opener for so many Montanans who are either too young to have experienced the decline and fall of the Anaconda Company or unaware of the interesting parallels between Stillwater and Anaconda.”

For any further information about this issue or any issue pertaining to Montana Tech or Highlands College, please contact Amanda Badovinac at 406-496-4828 or Dr. John M. Garic at 406-496-3714.