Skip to content

New Fort St. James mill rolls out first load of lumber

Hampton Lumber bought the mill from Conifex in 2019
The new Hampton Lumber sawmill in Fort St. James. (Hampton Lumber Facebook photo)

Fort St. James Forest Products (FSJFP) announced the shipment of the first load of lumber on April 10 from its newly built sawmill.

Hampton Lumber, which bought the sawmill from Conifex in 2019, said it was proud to see the first batch go out into the world. The old mill was shut down and demolished following the change of ownership and the new one opened during the pandemic in 2022.

The announcement comes amidst news of several mills shutting down operations in the region,

Steve Zika spokesperson for Hampton Lumber said they were excited about building and starting up a new mill during such challenging times.

“While we are proud that the team achieves milestones such as shipping our first load of lumber, the priority for Hampton, and the FSJFP team, during start-up is safety and establishing a positive, respectful and cooperative culture,” said Zika in an email statement.

Zika said it was a very challenging project for the construction team with COVID-19, supply chain issues and the continually increasing costs of materials and services.

“We have received a lot of local support and appreciate being a part of the Fort St James community and establishing relationships and partnerships with the local First Nations.”

In the statement, Zika also said almost all the employees are from Fort St James, as well as, three from surrounding communities.

The sawmill is currently only running one shift during start-up, but the company is optimistic start-up will go well and a second shift will be added when the team and the mill are ready.

READ ALSO: Former Conifex employees invited to apply at new Fort St. James mill; no guarantees

About the Author: Binny Paul

Read more