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Resolute’s Fort Frances mill won’t be restarted, according to sale documents


August 14, 2019
By P&PC Staff

August 14, 2019 – Resolute Forest Products’s long-idled mill in Fort Frances, Ontario won’t be restarted, according to a non-competition agreement signed alongside its sale to a redeveloper, despite the Town of Fort Frances’s hopes to the contrary.

The town council has requested the Ontario government revoke Resolute Forest Products’ license to harvest wood in the area’s Crossroute Forest.

According to Northern Ontario Business, Fort Frances Mayor June Caul read the statement during a news conference on August 13. She said that by selling its idled pulp mill to a developer under a non-competition agreement, Resolute has tried to “monopolize” control of the forest and therefore prevent another company from restarting it.

The mill has been sold to Riversedge Developments, a redeveloper based in Waterloo, Ontario, that specializes in transforming former industrial sites.

The Town of Fort Frances council recently learned that the sale came with an agreement that the new owner would never resume pulp and paper operations, and that negotiations for access to the forest not take place for 10 years. The papermaking equipment currently in the mill also must be scrapped.


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 A $3.5-million mortgage has been registered on the land by a scrap metal company.

Resolute uses the Crossroute forest to supply its mill in Thunder Bay, about 350 kilometres east of Fort Frances.

In response, the Resolute spokesperson Seth Kursman stressed the need for “cost-competitive fibre” and said the non-competition agreement is standard practice in a sale, especially when the purchaser is a possible competitor.

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