July 24, 2009
FREDERICTON (CNB) - A peat exploration licence has been awarded to two companies with a jointly submitted proposal that would create 225 jobs in northern New Brunswick, Natural Resources Minister Wally Stiles said today.
The submission from Jiffy Products (NB) Ltd. and Acadian Peat Moss (1979) Ltd. / La Mousse Acadienne (1979) Ltée was one of seven received following a public tender call for an exploration licence for 790 ha (1,951 acres) of Crown land in the Pointe-Sapin area.
Business New Brunswick worked with the Department of Natural Resources to evaluate the potential economic benefits that the project will bring to northern New Brunswick.
"The proposal submitted by Jiffy / Acadian emphasized the value-added use of this resource and proposed significant infrastructure and equipment investments in the Shippagan and Miramichi regions," said Stiles. "The applicants' submission states that more than 200 mainly full-time jobs would be created in the manufacturing of value-added products and another 25 in peat production."
The exploration licence is for one year with the possibility of a one-time renewal. During this period, Jiffy Products and Acadian Peat Moss must apply for a peat lease, provide detailed development and financial plans, and complete an environmental impact assessment (EIA) registration process with the Department of the Environment. No site development can take place until this work is completed and a Crown lease is issued.
The site has a known commercial reserve of peat and was selected for a public tender following consultations with the New Brunswick Peat Producers Association.
"The Jiffy Group is recognized as a leader in its field for value-added, peat-based products," said Business New Brunswick Minister Victor Boudreau. "At its Shippagan plant, the Jiffy Group will be adding 175 full-time jobs to expand its operation, which is already 350 strong. We are confident this company will find the skilled workers it needs in New Brunswick to continue manufacturing its peat pots, pellets and related products."
Acadian Peat Moss (1979) Ltd. / La Mousse Acadienne (1979) Ltée has peat production operations in the Lamèque area and near St. Margarets, southeast of Miramichi. The company employs more than 150, and its products are sold internationally. It would create about 50 jobs through the expansion of the existing plant in St. Margarets and to handle peat production on the new bog in the Pointe-Sapin area.
Stiles said the province's Peat Mining Policy emphasizes the use of Crown land peat reserves for value-added manufacturing.
"The joint Jiffy / Acadian proposal offers combined expertise in peatland development and in high-end product manufacturing, and it is exactly in keeping with our objective to use this natural resource to create the maximum number of jobs for New Brunswickers," said Stiles. "Value-added developments such as this will help us achieve our goal of a self-sufficient New Brunswick."
Stiles said the Department of Natural Resources plans to issue another tender call following consultations with the peat producers association on a preferred location.
"A number of the proposals we received were of excellent quality, and we want to call tenders as soon as possible on a second site to take advantage of the current economic opportunities," he said.
MEDIA CONTACTS: Matt Jones, communications, Department of Natural Resources, 506-453-2614, e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org; Ashley Bursey, communications, Business New Brunswick, 506-453-2694.