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Tembec sells almost 50,000 hectares

Tembec will sell 49,500 hectares of land in the East Kootenay to a Nanaimo-based timber harvesting company.

In an announcement on Friday, April 25, Tembec said that the property, part of its land base in the region, will be sold to Jemi Fibre Corp. for $35 million.

The media release does not say where the land is located and a Tembec spokesperson could not be reached before the Townsman's deadline.

Jemi Fibre harvests timber under contract for owners of Crown timber licences, providing logging equipment, labour and trucking equipment.

It's the same company that purchased a 1,875 hectare parcel of land from Tembec in the St. Mary Valley last September for $4.2 million.

Tembec has had a presence in the East Kootenay since 1999 when it purchased the Elko and Canal Flats sawmills from Crestbrook Forest Industries. In November 2011, Tembec sold those mills to Canfor.

In March 2013, Tembec sold its Skookumchuck pulp mill to Vancouver-based Paper Excellence Canada.

Last October, Tembec sold more than 7,000 hectares of land in the Elk Valley to Teck for $19 million. The Grave Prairie, Alexander Creek and Flathead properties will be preserved for conservation purposes, Teck announced at the time.

The site of Cranbrook’s shuttered planer mill still belongs to Tembec. The mill was shut down in 2010 and destroyed in a fire in 2012. A sawmill on the same site was closed in 1998.

Last week’s announcement is part of Tembec’s Land Sale Initiative, in which it hoped to make $75 million selling off its East Kootenay land by December 2014.

With this sale, Tembec has reduced that goal to $70 million. The Quebec-based forestry company has another 7,433 hectares in B.C. for which it is seeking a buyer.

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