Tri-State Construction purchased by global company MTI

Bentonite mining, processing, production, and packaging operations are underway at the Colony, Wyo., plant of Minerals Technologies, Inc. (MTI). MTI recently purchased local company Tri-State Construction. Employees move and work across the MTI locations in Belle Fourche and in Colony. Courtesy photo

BELLE FOURCHE — Tri-State Construction, a business based out of Belle Fourche since 2008, was recently purchased by global company Minerals Technologies Inc. (MTI). The sale happened this spring, in the third quarter of fiscal year 2020. American Colloid is the parent company to MTI.

In a company statement about the purchase of Tri-State Construction, MTI said local Tri-State employees have worked for years with MTI’s team at their Belle Fourche and Colony, Wyo., locations in supporting bentonite clay mining and hauling activities across the U.S.

Bentonite is a naturally-occurring and absorbent clay used in waterproofing for buildings, drilling muds, wine and juice clarification, and cat litter.

“We see this (the purchase of Tri-State) as a perfect strategic fit to bolster our ability to serve our customers, strengthen our leadership position in bentonite-based products and invest in growth opportunities which will benefit the local community,” according to the MTI company statement.

Tri-State Construction was owned by locals Mike and Christina Watson. Under MTI’s ownership, Mike Watson will continue managing the same employees and similar operations as he did while owning Tri-State.

The Tri-State employee base, which totals around 50 individuals, will maintain their employment under MTI, according to Michael Landau, director of Corporate Communications at MTI. The MTI company statement noted appreciation for the capabilities, talents, and resources of the Tri-State team as beneficial to their operations.

“As part of MTI’s larger organization, Tri-State employees will have an enhanced platform for job growth, training and personal development,” according to the statement.

Employees move and work across the MTI locations in Belle Fourche and in Colony, Wyo. The Belle Fourche facility is smaller and includes mining, maintenance, an administrative office, and a smaller plant for production. The majority of MTI’s operations occur at the Colony, Wyo., plant.

The largest of MTI’s four business segments, bentonite and performance materials comprise 46 percent of MTI’s total global sales. MTI is based in New York and is a $1.8 billion minerals-based company.

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