$145 million sawmill project planned for Bonfield
CTV Northern Ontario
Published Thursday, July 13, 2017 11:46AM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, July 13, 2017 7:19PM EDT
A new sawmill could soon bring a job boost to the small township of Bonfield, near North Bay.
International Wood Industries plans to turn 212 acres of land into a sawmill and wood processing centre that would ship products from Northern Ontario to the rest of the world.
"We have designed it as a hardwood and softwood mill," said Gary Medwid, International Wood Industries president.
"Our goal is to produce not only lumber and stock, but also finished products, so primarily two thirds of the facility will be dimensional lumber the other third will be a combination of hard woods and white pine."
Medwid said the project will cost an estimated $145 million and it will mean jobs from management right on down.
"90 jobs with a $4.5 million payroll is a huge investment in our community and our area and we know that when people are making good money and when they have FT work., that's steady and reliable, that also feeds other people in the community'
The company is still in the planning stages, with the site undergoing environmental testing, traffic assessments and a re-zoning application.
The proposed facility will be in this area with access here from Trout Pond Road, just off of Highway 17. Developers say it's also an ideal spot because of nearby rail.
The plan is to move the wood products by rail to Canadian seaports, where it would be shipped overseas; so recent US softwood lumber duties wouldn’t come into play.
"This particular mill is looking to sell most of its production overseas, primarily to Europe and China," said Medwid.
"We actually have offers for the sale of most of our production to China so in that particular instance, this should not impact our mill."
Developers said applications for work will be accepted starting in October.