The company looking to build an oriented strand board mill north of Prince Albert is looking to connect with the public.

One Sky Forestry Products is putting on an open house at the Senator Allen Bird Memorial Centre Tuesday.

Scott Bax, CEO of One Sky Forestry Products said an environmental assessment is currently underway regarding the project and part of that process involves doing engagement with the public. He added there are other goals they are hoping to accomplish as well.

“It’s a great opportunity to bring the public up to speed with the project and what we’re trying to accomplish with a number of the First Nations in Saskatchewan,” he said.

The oriented strand board or OSB mill if approved would be north of the city near the Paper Excellence facility. Bax explained One Sky Forestry Products is currently early on in the environmental assessment process, which has been underway since January. The next step for the company is to do the actual environmental assessment which will focus on a range of areas.

“Air quality, vegetation and wetlands, wildlife and wildlife habitat and socio economic and environment, those are all as it pertains to the site itself and the location of the facility,” said Bax.

The One Sky Forestry Products CEO said once the assessment is complete the company will make a submission to the Ministry of Environment which will then provide comments on the submission, all of which will be made public.

“The province has told us at one point that this process can last between six and 18 months and given it’s in already disturbed industrial site with a known process, it’s known to the Government of Saskatchewan, that it’s not likely that we would be at the far end of that timeline,” said Bax.

A number of First Nations are involved with the proposed mill, which would provide orientated strand board for construction materials to the North American market. This includes Meadow Lake Tribal Council, which is representing their nine member First Nations along with Big River First Nation, Montreal Lake Business Ventures and Wahpeton Dakota Developments are also involved.

“They’re actually partners in the project and I think that’s something that’s really exciting,” said Bax.

Building the proposed OSB mill is expected to cost around $270 million. When it gets ups and going the facility is expected to directly employ around 130 people.

(Photo Courtesy of Government of Saskatchewan)