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.


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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.

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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