January 22, 2024

NORTHERN BCWest Fraser Timber Co. Ltd. (TSX and NYSE: WFG) announced today that it will permanently close its sawmill in Fraser Lake, British Columbia, following an orderly wind-down. Today’s decision is the result of West Fraser’s inability to access economically viable fibre in the region.

The closure of Fraser Lake Sawmill will impact approximately 175 employees. West Fraser expects to mitigate the impact on affected employees by providing work opportunities at other West Fraser operations.

“We do not make these decisions lightly”, said Sean McLaren, President & CEO, West Fraser. “We know this announcement has a significant impact on our employees, their families, our suppliers and the local community, who all rely on a healthy forest industry.”

The mill closure will reduce West Fraser’s Canadian lumber capacity by approximately 160 million board feet.

“Today’s announcement, combined with our recent decision to indefinitely curtail operations at Huttig, Arkansas and close our sawmill in Maxville, Florida better align our capacity with demand and available sources of economic fibre,” said McLaren. “We believe these initiatives, along with the decision to divest three pulp assets and acquire Spray Lake Sawmills in 2023 make West Fraser stronger through the cycle.”

West Fraser anticipates recording restructuring and impairment charges of approximately $81 million in the fourth quarter of 2023 related to facility closures and curtailments due to availability of economic fibre sources in British Columbia.

Source: WestFraser.com

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