The two men who died in a vehicle-related accident at the Stillwater Mine in Montana have now been identified. As the Associated Press reports:

Sixty-five-year-old Dale Ketola of Columbus, Montana and 55-year-old Jerry Ashlock of Caldwell, Idaho died Wednesday in a crash at the Stillwater Mine near the community of Nye, according to a coroner’s statement released by county Sheriff Charles Kem.

The AP also has more details on the accident. Click here for the full report.

A spokesman for the Stillwater Mine released the following information shortly after the accident became public:

It is with deep sadness that we confirm the loss of two of our fellow colleagues in a vehicle-related accident while working underground at the Stillwater Mine at about 2 p.m. on Wednesday, June 9, 2021.  An investigation is underway, and we are working closely with our safety regulators to determine the cause of the accident.

At Sibanye-Stillwater, we value safety above all else.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone impacted by this tragic event and we are providing required support to the families and other affected by this tragic incident.

Reports of an accident were first confirmed by the Stillwater County Sheriffs Office on Wednesday night on both KULR8 and KTVQ-TV.

Our thoughts and prayers definitely go out to all of the families, friends, and co-workers impacted by this tragedy. Anyone who lives in the Billings, Laurel, and Columbus areas certainly has friends or family that works at the mine.

According to KTVQ-TV, "Sibanye-Stillwater is the only primary producer of platinum and palladium in North America. Based in South Africa, Sibnaye-Stillwater is the world’s biggest producer of platinum, and one of the 10 largest gold producers in the world."

According to Sibanye Stillwater, the Stillwater operation has two principal mining sections:

The Stillwater operation has two principal mining sections. The current section, which has been in operation since 1986, produces approximately 380,000oz a year of platinum and palladium in concentrate. The Blitz section, a major expansion project currently under development, started ore production in 2017 and is currently producing 75,0000oz a year. The current section of the operation is accessed by a 580m deep shaft and five portals. The Blitz section is accessed by two portals.

Read More: Two Fatalities Confirmed at Stillwater Mine in Montana |


KEEP READING: Scroll to see what the big headlines were the year you were born


More From KMPT-AM