The OSB mill near High Prairie is reopening. Operations were shut down in 2008 when housing starts across North America fell to the lowest rates in a generation. However, with the market improving, Tolko Industries has decided to restart the mill with production expected to begin in the first quarter of 2018.

“We’re very happy to get this mill back up and running — it’s good news for our people and for northern Alberta,” says President and CEO Brad Thorlakson. “We are confident that current improvements in market conditions are sustainable and that customer demand for Tolko oriented strand board products will remain strong.”

Big Lakes County has agreed to phase-in their taxes over four years, and Reeve Ken Matthews says they’re looking forward to added jobs and economic benefits. When fully operational, the mill will employ around 175 people directly, along with other indirect jobs.