First Nation sawmill operation eyes expansion

By Ian Ross
Northern Ontario Business
October 12, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada East

A northwestern Ontario First Nation is exploring avenues on how to expand its thriving sawmill operation and delve into more value-added manufacturing. A small four-employee multi-dimensional lumber mill on the large reserve, north and west of Sioux Lookout, has been busy serving needs of the community, nearby Sioux Lookout, and many area tourism outfitter camps. “The rough sawn lumber is going out the door fast,” said Bert Hennessey, general manager of Obishikokaang Resources Corporation (ORC).  “It’s just the (operating) margins aren’t the best.” The corporation is shepherding along a plan to expand into a two-sawmill operation offering a wider array of forest product offerings. “People are excited about the facility,” said Hennessey, based on the volume of walk-in visitors asking for slabs and ordering products. “It’s small but to be really successful in the future it’s going to need funding to be more mechanized and efficient with new equipment.”

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