White River Forest Products Ltd. has commenced a multi-million dollar re-investment program and has restarted the sawmill with a single shift but plans to add a second shift by January 1, 2014.
The private corporation owns and operates the mill and a Sustainable Forest License located in Northwestern Ontario at White River between Thunder Bay and Sault Ste. Marie. It was conceived and founded by the Township of White River and the Pic Mobert First Nation who purchased the sawmill assets from Domtar after that company closed them indefinitely in 2007.
White River Forest Products is a coming together of local interests who are looking to take advantage of the favourable economic conditions to bring jobs and stability back to the small community that lost 250 jobs when the sawmill shut down. It is co-owned by the Pic Mobert First Nation, the White River township and two private companies, one owned by Frank Dottori and another owned by David Butler, son of the late Jeffrey Butler, another co-founder and original CEO of the company.
The White River sawmill complex is known for its ability to produce high quality lumber products from wood fibre sourced from local forests. Once operating at planned capacities, it will consume approximately 700,000 m3 of softwood annually to produce approximately 150 million board feet of random length and stud grade lumber.
The facility has capabilities to produce MSR-rated and select grade material. It has a 7.5 MWcogeneration facility to utilize sawmill residues that it plans to reactivate in 2014.
The sawmill will operate with approximately 90 employees with additional employment generated in woodlands operations in harvesting and trucking. The hiring is focused on drawing from local communities and the nearby Pic Mobert First Nation.