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 C$50
"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," stated Richard Garneau, President and
Chief Executive Officer. "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 Company'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.
Today's announcement was welcomed by Ontario Natural Resources Minister
Michael Gravelle. "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. Our Ministry has worked hard with First Nations and
municipalities to increase opportunities for direct involvement in the
rebounding forestry sector, and today's announcement is a real
indicator of the progress we have made," said Minister Gravelle. "We
welcome the additional investment by Resolute in Ontario. Over the past
18 months, the Company has announced over C$175 million of investments
in the province, and I am certainly encouraged that a new sawmill in
Atikokan could potentially make a positive contribution as Resolute
continues to look at viable options for its Fort Frances pulp mill."
In commenting on today's announcement, Gary Allen, Chief of
Nigigoonsiminikaaning First Nation, stated: "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."
Seine River First Nation Chief Earl Klyne agreed, stating: "We are
pleased to see this announcement being made today by Resolute. It was
most positive that the Company involved First Nation communities in the
early stages of this project to identify areas of economic opportunity
that we can pursue together."
Bill Mauro, MPP of Thunder Bay-Atikokan, also joined other public
officials in welcoming this announcement: "As the MPP for Thunder
Bay-Atikokan, I want to thank Resolute for this positive announcement.
This capital investment will create a good number of construction jobs
and significant long-term employment in the Atikokan area. This
investment is also another important signal that the forestry sector
continues to improve, and that Resolute will be a major employer in our
region for years to come."
Thunder Bay-Rainy River MP John Rafferty expressed his gratitude towards
this investment: "This is certainly good news for forestry workers and
communities in the Northwest, particularly Atikokan. We should all be
pleased with Resolute's commitment to sustainable forestry practices
and their belief in strong communities and family-sustaining jobs."
"This is great news for our community and the surrounding area. These
jobs will be critically important in providing economic stability for
our region," added Atikokan Mayor Dennis Brown.
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 21 pulp and paper mills and 21 wood products
facilities in the United States, Canada and South Korea. Marketing its
products in close to 80 countries, Resolute has third-party certified
100% of its managed woodlands to sustainable forest management
standards. The shares of Resolute Forest Products trade under the stock
symbol RFP on both the New York Stock Exchange and the Toronto Stock
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.