Thunder Bay

Nakina Lumber Inc. taking first steps to re-opening

A shuttered sawmill in Nakina, Ont., could soon spew out sawdust, after its owners said the mill is "in the preparation stages" of a re-start.

No word on starting date, or number of jobs

Nakina Lumber Inc. is the latest sawmill in northwestern Ontario to announce a re-opening.

A shuttered sawmill in Nakina, Ont., could soon spew sawdust again, after its owners said the mill is "in the preparation stages" of a re-start.

Nakina Lumber Inc, owned by Buchanan Sawmills Inc, was shut down in 2008, when many forestry operations in northwestern Ontario ground to a halt. 

"Something that's been going on for quite a while, trying to get this together, but it looks like it's official now," said Renald Beaulieu, the Mayor of Greenstone. "They've actually re-started the mill to function so that, I guess if you want to call it a practice [run]."

Beaulieu said the re-start is good news for Greenstone, where high-paying jobs can be difficult to find. He said many people in the community worked their entire lives in sawmills, and their expertise lies in forestry operations.

A number of jobs are advertised for the mill's re-start, including labourers, operators, equipment operators, but also superintendents, maintenance supervisors as well as a general manager.

Beaulieu predicts 50 to 80 jobs will be created when the mill starts up again, with one shift. He points to a similar re-start strategy at the Longlac Lumber mill, which re-opened in 2013.

Buchanan owns sawmill operations in Nakina, Longlac and the McKenzie Lumber operation in Hudson. That mill is still idle.

"Definitely good for our community, because we're talking about jobs," said Beaulieu.

E-mails to Buchanan Sawmills Inc.'s President Tom Darechuk were not returned.

About the Author

Jeff Walters

Reporter/Editor

Born and raised in Thunder Bay, Jeff is proud to work in his hometown, as well as throughout northwestern Ontario. Away from work, you can find him skiing (on water or snow), curling, out at the lake or flying.

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