Resolute to build new mill in Atikokan
Resolute Forest Products announced that it will build a new sawmill near Atikokan, Ontario.
The Atikokan project will involve the construction of a single line random length (16 ft) sawmill with an annual capacity of 150 million board feet. Approximately 90 people will be directly employed by the operation, and additional indirect positions will be created for hauling finished lumber and residual chips. Final site selection in the Atikokan area will be completed in the next few weeks, and construction is anticipated to begin in the spring, with completion targeted for early 2014. The capital cost of the project is estimated at $50 million.
“We believe in our solid wood business and we’re taking action to grow and improve it. The new random length sawmill will complement our existing lumber product mix in Ontario and will allow Resolute to improve its product offering to customers in central Canada and key markets in the United States,” said Resolute’s President and CEO Richard Garneau. “We are particularly excited about the active involvement of First Nations in the project and the opportunity for shared economic benefit that this represents.”
When the Atikokan project is complete and the Resolute’s upgraded Ignace facility re-opens, Resolute will have three modern sawmills in Northwestern Ontario, with a combined production capacity approaching approximately 600 million board feet. In addition to producing lumber, the sawmills will also contribute to the long-term competitiveness of the company’s pulp and paper operations in Thunder Bay through the supply of residual chips, as well as support efforts to reposition the currently indefinitely idled pulp mill in Fort Frances.
“This is extremely good news for the economy in Northwestern Ontario, and specifically the Atikokan area. I am particularly pleased to see Resolute’s proactive effort to involve First Nations in a manner that creates opportunities and shared benefit,” commented Ontario Natural Resources Minister Michael Gravelle.
Gary Allen, Chief of Nigigoonsiminikaaning First Nation, added: “We are encouraged by Resolute’s investment plans in our traditional area and look forward to working with the company to achieve our economic goals and establish business opportunities associated with this project.”