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North Island Chipping facility acquired by new Indigenous-operated partnership


April 1, 2021
By P&PC Staff

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The North Island Chipping facility in Beaver Cove, B.C., located on the traditional territory of the ‘Namgis First Nation, has been acquired by Atli Chip Limited Partnership.

The newly formed Atli Chip Limited Partnership is majority owned by Atli Resources LP, a forest company beneficially owned by the ‘Namgis First Nation.

The chipping facility produces wood chips for use in the pulp and paper industry. The facility is capable of processing 300,000 to 400,000 m3 of chips per year using local supplies of pulpwood and salvage wood. The facility was built in 2003 to convert dry land sort waste fibre and salvage logs into sellable wood chips.

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Atli Chip Limited Partnership has minority stakes from Wahkash Contracting Ltd. and Paper Excellence.

Atli Chip LP has also entered into a long-term agreement with Paper Excellence to supply certain feedstock to the facility and to then receive wood chip production.

“We are very excited about the opportunity for Atli Chip Limited Partnership to take over operations of this facility to meet the growing needs of the industry and to acquire a business that we believe will have long-term economic and environmental benefits for the ‘Namgis people and the North Island as a whole,” says Don Svanvik, ‘Namgis chief councillor, in a statement.

“The ‘Namgis have long been a significant contributor to the economic health of the North Island and this acquisition will continue that tradition. We look forward to working together with our new partners.”

Doug Mosher, chief executive officer of Atli Resources, says a key goal of the new business is to increase the utilization of local waste and salvage wood in the operations.

“Because this operation is capable of producing a quality chip product from multiple lengths of wood inputs, it can serve a key role in reducing the amount of residual fibre often left behind after primary forest harvesting,” he says.

Better use of residual fibre has been a goal of the provincial government in recent years.

“Added fibre that can be processed will result in less slash burning of post-harvest waste, reducing smoke and carbon emissions, benefiting our local populations,” he says.

Another key goal of this acquisition is to support local ‘Namgis business operations and employment while at the same time supporting local businesses.

Mosher acknowledges the contributions made by Natural Resources Canada – Indigenous Forestry Initiative, FPInnovations and Tale’awtxw Aboriginal Capital Corporation in organizing the acquisition.

“Paper Excellence is proud to be a part of the Atli Chip Limited Partnership,” says Quinton Hayward, chief forester at Paper Excellence.

“We understand the importance of being good neighbours and greatly value our relationships with Indigenous communities and their business ventures. This is an exciting opportunity to build mutually beneficial business partnerships and support community investment while ensuring better utilization of the forest resources and carbon reduction.”

Dorian Uzzell, president of Wakash Contracting, adds, “Wahkash is very proud and excited for the opportunity to contribute to the success of this partnership. Our years of experience training and mentoring workers entering the forest industry will be a great fit in this partnership and we hope to provide further employment opportunities to people of the ‘Namgis Nation, other North Island nations, and all communities on the North Island.”