Miramichi Lumber plans to rebuild its sawmill in Miramichi and hopes to open a new planer and kiln facility in Blackville.
The company says the electrical and optimization systems at its Miramichi mill were destroyed in a fire on Jan. 6.
General manager Danny Anderson says the insurance process should be complete within the next few weeks and the Miramichi mill should reopen by the end of July.
This news delights former mill worker Charles Beaudin.
"It drives me crazy, staying still not doing nothing. I want to be hands on, doing something, producing, you know, accomplishing something," he said.
The date for reopening is dependent on the "timely release" of insurance proceeds by the province as the company's secured creditor.
Anderson says it's been a long road.
“We don’t give up easily. It's a work in progress, but I wouldn't be standing here right now if I didn't think we'd have success," he said.
Miramichi Lumber is also in negotiations to open a planer and kiln facility in Blackville in August, creating 20 to 25 new jobs.
Rough lumber from Miramichi would be taken to the new facility in Blackville for further processing.
Chief financial officer Hal Raper says the company expects to have 135 full-time employees this year.
The company is still in negotiations with provincial officials to get more high-quality saw logs from Crown land and expects to start buying from private woodlot owners in June.