Unique Geography Facts: Montana

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In 1889, Montana became the 41st state admitted to the United States.  Located in the northwestern region of the United States, Montana is the fourth-largest in area, the 8th least populous, and the third-least densely populated state.

State of Montana (shaded red). Map: TUBS, Wikimedia, CC BY-SA 3.0
State of Montana (shaded red). Map: TUBS, Wikimedia, CC BY-SA 3.0

Here is a unique geography fact about the state of Montana.

Minerals

Montana is the only producer of palladium & platinum in the United States.  Palladium is a chemical element used for dental alloys and automobile catalytic converters. Platinum is also used for catalytic converters and is a favored metal for jewelry.   The only palladium/platinum mine in North America is the Stillwater Mine located near Nye, Montana.


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Stillwater mine tailings in front of the east side of the Stillwater River canyon, near Nye, Montana. Photo: Michael L. Zientek, U.S. Geological Survey. Public domain
Stillwater mine tailings in front of the east side of the Stillwater River canyon, near Nye, Montana. Photo: Michael L. Zientek, U.S. Geological Survey. Public domain

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