Auctioneer sells off Northern Sawmills' equipment in Thunder Bay, Ontario; union spokesman says it is a sad day, ending hopes that the sawmill might reopen

LOS ANGELES , September 30, 2011 () – A two-day auction at Northern Sawmills in Thunder Bay, Ontario, has ended any hopes that the Buchanan Forest Products operation might reopen one day, according to a report by

The sawmill, which employed 600 at its height, closed three years ago with the loss of 200 jobs.

Mike Gray, former president of union Local 38-X, said people had continued to hope that the mill would reopen, and called it a sad day.

Equipment ranging from the overhead wiring, rail tracks running through the plant, log rollers and the two sawmills were offered for sale.

Gray said he wished that the government could have offered assistance to prevent the closure, but acknowledged that several factors contributed to the mill's demise, including the strong Canadian dollar.

Auctioneer Mike McIntosh, VP of the industrial division of Maynards Industries, said most customers at the auction were mill owners or managers, scrap metal buyers and equipment dealers.

The receiver, PricewaterhouseCoopers, had estimated that the sale would yield millions of dollars, but McIntosh said no firm figure had been set.

The primary source of this article is, Thunder Bay, Ontario, on Sept. 29, 2011.

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