Conifex’s forest tenure has been transferred to Hampton Lumber in Fort St. James

The province has approved the transfer of Conifex’s forest licence to Hampton.

In an Oct. 28 news release, Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development said he approved the transfer as it is best in terms of public interest and released the following statement in regard to the transfer of the forest license:

“On Friday, Oct. 25, 2019, I approved the transfer of a forest licence and associated road permits from Conifex Timber Inc. to Fort St. James Forest Products, a subsidiary of Hampton Lumber Mills. After a comprehensive review of this public asset, I determined that this transfer is in the public interest and will benefit British Columbians.”

As a condition of the transfer, Hampton has committed to building a new sawmill in Fort St. James, Donaldson added, noting the sawmill will be operational within 36 months of the closing transaction with Conifex.

“It is my expectation that Hampton will continue to work closely with First Nations to develop business and capacity-building arrangements and hire local workers. In addition, it must meet with the United Steelworkers’ local, and continue discussions with Fort St. James Green Energy and local logging contractors,” Donaldson said.

This approval came as a result of changes made to Bill 22, Donaldson said.

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IMAGE: Dave Salmon of Hampton Lumber speaks to Fort St. James residents during a community engagement session held at the Fort St. James community centre. He spoke about the recent purchase agreement made between Conifex and Hampton on June 24. (Aman Parhar photo)