BILLINGS, Mont. -

The chief executive of Montana's largest mining company says layoffs and buyouts potentially affecting about 100 workers are needed to ensure the company's future growth.
    
Chief Executive Officer Michael "Mick" McMullen told The Associated Press that Stillwater Mining Co. wants to bring down its costs for mining platinum and palladium in southern Montana's Beartooth Mountains.
    
He says the workforce reductions and scaling back of ventures in Argentina and Canada are necessary after Stillwater sought to expand too rapidly in recent years.
    
McMullen was appointed to lead the 1,700-employee company in December, following a corporate board takeover by disgruntled investors including former Gov. Brian Schweitzer.
    
Writing down the foreign projects resulted in 2013 losses of $270 million. Stillwater rebounded with $19.6 million in profits during the first quarter of 2014.