Conifex indefinitely shutters Arkansas mill

VANCOUVER — Conifex Timber announced it will gradually shut down operations at its El Dorado, Ark., over the next 60 days, for an indefinite period. The curtailment affects 92 workers who will be laid off and reduce the company’s Southern U.S. production by some 21 million board feet this year. “We regret this difficult decision; however, lumber prices are simply too modest to justify continued operations at a site that requires further capital expenditures to realize its potential as an efficient, modern mill,” said Chairman and CEO Ken Shields. “While our wish is to restart the mill as soon we can, our immediate priorities are to identity the scope of a Phase two capital investment to help better inform a re-start date.” Six employees will retain their jobs maintaining equipment at the mill in case of its reopening.