Gitxsan buy licence
A NATIVE-OWNED logging company is content to sell wood to a Vancouver Island pulp operation, but it looks forward to selling it to the Chinese company that wants to re-open the closed Prince Rupert pulp mill.
Gordon Sebastian of the Gitxsan Chief’s Office in the Hazeltons made the comment leading up to the purchase last week of a forest licence in the Hazeltons from the same Chinese company, Sun Wave Forest Products which is owned by the China Paper Group.
Newly-formed Gitxsan Forest Enterprises made a $250,000 down payment to Sun Wave Dec. 9, representing part of the total $1 million purchase price.
Sebastian said a re-opening of the former Skeena Cellulose pulp mill in Prince Rupert will boost the area’s economy.
“We met with them and it was pretty close to a guarantee that the mill will open,” he said, adding that China Paper has set an April 2007 date for the event.
“It is a local pulp mill and will put local people back to work,” said Sebastian of the mill. But for now, he said the Gitxsan will sell their wood to companies such as Pope and Talbot, a major forest products producer, which will ship the fibre to its Harmac kraft mill near Nanaimo.
Sebastian anticipates putting nearly 100 people back to work very soon.
He said the Gitxsan have established a strong relationship with the Chinese .
“They made it clear they didn’t want to be in the logging business and that they simply wanted to buy the fibre,” Sebastian added of early meetings between the Gitxsan and the Chinese.