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Catalyst shuts down Crofton mill, extends Elk Falls hiatus

Citing "rapid decline in North American newsprint consumption," Catalyst Paper on Wednesday announced an indefinite shutdown of its Crofton kraft mill. The five-week "curtailment" of its Elk Falls mill has also been extended indefinitely.

A news release said the Crofton shutdown will affect about 375 employees, with another 350 laid off at Elk Falls. According to Catalyst president and CEO Richard Garneau:

"The rapid decline in North American newsprint consumption is unprecedented, and it requires us to focus sharply on cost management as we optimize production across our mills to match capacity with the order book."

At The Lead-Up, election blog of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, Geoff Mann analyzes the shutdown in some detail. He calls it part of "the (not so) slow de-industrialization of the province."

Catalyst closed today at 17 cents, down 1 cent on the day and 1 cent above its 52-week low. Its 52-week high was $1.70.

Crawford Kilian is a contributing editor of The Tyee.

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