MONTREAL, May 14, 2013 /PRNewswire/ - Resolute Forest Products Inc. (NYSE: RFP) (TSX: RFP) today celebrated the 10th anniversary of its sawmill located in Thunder Bay, Ontario. It is a unique business venture in that its success stems from a collaboration between Resolute and the Fort William First Nation.
With an annual capacity of 300 million board feet of stud lumber, Resolute's Thunder Bay sawmill is among the largest and most modern in Eastern Canada. It commenced operation on May 12, 2003, and presently employs 170 workers. Over the last two years, investments of more than C$8 million were made to increase production.
In 2012, the Thunder Bay sawmill also became the first facility in Canada to operate under regulations created by the First Nations Commercial and Industrial Development Act. This legislation enables Federal reserve land to operate under Provincial statutes, thereby facilitating industrial development with First Nations on their land. Today's anniversary is the result of the collective efforts over the past 10 years of the Company and the Fort William First Nation, the sawmill employees, the City of Thunder Bay, the governments of Ontario and Canada, and the many contractors and suppliers that service the facility.
To mark the occasion, an official ceremony involving Fort William First Nation leadership, senior Resolute management and a range of dignitaries was held today at the sawmill. Richard Garneau, Resolute's President and Chief Executive Officer, Chairman of the Board Richard B. Evans, Chief Georjann Morriseau of the Fort William First Nation, Ontario Minister of Northern Development and Mines and MPP, Thunder Bay-Superior North, the Honourable Michael Gravelle, Member of Federal Parliament for Kenora and Parliamentary Secretary for Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, Greg Rickford, Member of Provincial Parliament for Thunder Bay-Atikokan Bill Mauro and Mayor of Thunder Bay Keith Hobbs were present at the Thunder Bay sawmill site. Employees and many other special guests, including community and aboriginal leaders, also attended the ceremony.
"This anniversary is a milestone for Resolute. I am pleased to be here today to celebrate it with our partners from the Fort William First Nation, because I truly believe that what we have here is a unique recipe for success," stated Richard Garneau. "This anniversary is also a true testament to the hard work and dedication of our employees and to the genuine collaboration of the governments of Ontario and Canada, as well as that of the City of Thunder Bay."
Chief Georjann Morriseau of the Fort William First Nation stated: "I want to congratulate Fort William First Nation and Resolute Forest Products on the 10th anniversary. This initiative is very supportive of our mission: enhancing and supporting Aboriginal business and economic development through a range of distinct services. As well, it allows me an opportunity to honour the work of past chiefs for starting the journey of our nations' youth to build and grow future opportunities that we celebrate today. The Fort William First Nation's economic development and the Thunder Bay sawmill have been a key part of this process, and we want to continue to build on our relationship with Resolute as we look to the future."
Ontario's Minister of Natural Resources, the Honourable David Orazietti, who could not attend, sent his congratulations to both Resolute and the Fort William First Nation: "I commend and congratulate both Resolute and Fort William First Nation on their partnership arrangement and the success of the Resolute sawmill. I am pleased this mill is benefiting from the province's 2010 competition offer of wood supply that supports Resolute's investment in the expansion of this sawmill, which is now the largest operating sawmill in Ontario. This is a terrific example of how Ontario is putting its wood and people back to work."
"I am absolutely thrilled to be here today to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Thunder Bay sawmill. This is certainly a proud moment for our government, the city of Thunder Bay, the Fort William First Nation and everyone who has made the past 10 years such a success," said Michael Gravelle, Ontario Minister of Northern Development and Mines and MPP, Thunder Bay-Superior North.
"I want to congratulate the Fort William First Nation and Resolute Forest Products on the 10th anniversary of their Thunder Bay sawmill," stated Member of Parliament for Kenora Greg Rickford. "I am pleased that our government was able to play a supportive role in the success of this unique project, which has become such an important part of the economy of the Thunder Bay region."
"We are all encouraged by the success of this sawmill over the last 10 years," stated Bill Mauro, Member of Provincial Parliament for Thunder Bay-Atikokan. "I would like to thank the employees for their work and dedication, and Resolute Forest Products for its financial investment and belief in Thunder Bay and Northwestern Ontario."
"The City extends congratulations to Resolute and its employees as they celebrate this important milestone. The Thunder Bay sawmill, located on Fort William First Nation lands, plays an important economic role in both of our communities, and we wish them continued success for the next decade," said Keith Hobbs, Mayor of Thunder Bay.
About Resolute Forest Products
Resolute Forest Products is a global leader in the forest products industry with a diverse range of products, including newsprint, commercial printing papers, market pulp and wood products. The Company owns or operates over 40 pulp and paper mills and wood products facilities in the United States, Canada and South Korea, and power generation assets in Canada. Marketing its products in close to 90 countries, Resolute has third-party certified 100% of its managed woodlands to at least one of three internationally-recognized sustainable forest management standards, including 65% certified to the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) standards. The shares of Resolute Forest Products trade under the stock symbol RFP on both the New York Stock Exchange and the Toronto Stock Exchange.
Resolute and other member companies of the Forest Products Association of Canada, as well as a number of environmental organizations, are partners in the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement. The group works to identify solutions to conservation issues that meet the goal of balancing equally the three pillars of sustainability linked to human activities: environmental, social and economic. Resolute is also a member of the World Wildlife Fund's Climate Savers program, in which businesses establish ambitious targets to voluntarily reduce greenhouse gas emissions and work aggressively toward achieving them.
SOURCE Resolute Forest Products Inc.