The British Columbia government says the old Worthington pulp mill in Mackenzie, B.C., will soon be restarted, after a deal was reached between the mill's new owner and the union.

The mill, located about 155 kilometres north of Prince George in the Central Interior, will restart as soon as possible, and about 200 employees are expected to be called back to work, the government said

One of Asia's biggest pulp companies, Indonesian firm Sinar Mas, and its Netherlands subsidiary Paper Excellence, are taking over the mill. It was shut down in June 2008, after the former owners Pope and Talbot went bankrupt, at least partly due to declining pulp prices.

Worthington Properties then bought the mill from Pope and Talbot, but in January 2009, the B.C. government stepped in to maintain the facility after the company failed to pay maintenance workers.

The government was worried about the possibility that frozen pipes would burst, releasing chemicals into the environment.

In Mackenzie, four mills have closed in recent years, leading to large job losses.

A second former Pope and Talbot mill in Nanaimo, B.C., was restarted in 2008 after a consortium of three B.C. private investors and a group of former workers purchased it for $13.2 million.