Saskatchewan celebrates Carrier Forest Product's purchase of Big River sawmill, expected to employ up to 110 when at capacity

REGINA, Saskatchewan , October 6, 2011 (press release) – Energy and Resources Minister Bill Boyd says that the sale of the sawmill near Big River speaks volumes about the commitment of companies and communities to revitalize Saskatchewan's forest industry.

Boyd participated in a ceremonial chain-cutting in Big River this morning, helping open the gates of the previously shuttered sawmill near the town. Carrier Forest Products Ltd. announced in early August that it was establishing a new sawmill and planer mill development there and has recently concluded a purchase of the existing sawmill from its previous owner.

"Big River is, and always has been, a forestry town," Boyd said. "And it's so gratifying to see a forestry leader like Carrier showing its confidence in this community and the great business prospects it has here. The rebirth of forestry in this community is also a testament to the perseverance and vision of the town's mayor, Brian Brownfield, and the members of the Big River Area Forestry Committee."

Today's celebration marks the official start of work on refurbishing the existing mill. Carrier expects that the sawmill and planer mill will employ up to 110 people directly when running at capacity and create many more jobs in harvesting, hauling and reforestation. The mill start-up is expected to coincide with the re-opening of the Prince Albert Pulp Mill next year.

"Today we cross an important threshold in re-establishing a sawmilling presence in Big River," Carrier President and CEO Bill Kordyban said. "We must recognize the vision that was translated into action by Minister Boyd, MLA Nadine Wilson and Mayor Brownfield, in creating an environment conducive to attracting business and investment. We look forward with great enthusiasm to working with the community of Big River, First Nations and other stakeholders to make the mill a success."

"We never lost faith that we would have a sawmill up and running once again in our town," Brownfield said. "We have a tremendous forest resource here and we appreciate the investment by Carrier in that resource, and the work that the Minister and Ms. Wilson did to facilitate that investment. We look forward to having Carrier Forest Products as a corporate citizen of Big River for many years to come."

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