UPDATE: Big River saw mill sold to Carrier Forest Products

By Brent Bosker
September 20, 2011 - 5:34pm Updated: September 20, 2011 - 8:51pm

Big River will once again be a forestry town with the sale of their idled sawmill to Carrier Forest Products Ltd.

The sale with EACOM Timber, reported to be $7.5 million was announced on Tuesday, and was welcome news to Mayor Brian Brownfield, who was there when the mill closed in 2006, resulting in 200 lost jobs.

“It’s absolutely tremendous news,” he said after learning the sale had gone through. “We’re going to see people coming back from the oil fields and all kinds of stuff like that.”

Carrier Forest Products, president, Bill Kordyban said ideally the reopening of the mill would coincide with the restart of the Prince Albert pulp mill next year, however he added, a lot of things would have to happen first.

“We’ve got to work out the timber operating areas, getting a chip contract with the pulp mill and starting to talk to people there about the labour force and hiring people.”

Carrier began negotiating with EACOM for the mill in the spring after failed attempts by EACOM to secure a timber supply from the province.

In August, the provincial government awarded that allocation to Carrier for a milling operation, but it was unclear what that would look like prior to the sale going through.

“It means we’re going to go forward,” Brownfield said. “We don’t have to wait for a delay for a building or anything like that, They’ll take that mill and get it up and operating very quickly.”

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