A proposed wood pellet venture in Enterprise, Northwest Territories, has acquired land for its mill, bringing a six-year slog of development one step closer to reality.
Aurora Wood Pellets Ltd. president Brad Mapes said the company purchased 320 hectares of land from the hamlet, or about four square kilometres. The site is about two kilometres south of town.
“It took a bit of time to get everything going. I don’t know why. You know how the government works,” Mapes said.
Mapes first announced the signing of the land deal in November 2015. The deal closed earlier in May.
“It’s a huge piece of land,” Mapes said. “I am almost 100 per cent sure it’s the first piece of land that the hamlet has ever sold.”
Hamlet of Enterprise Mayor Craig McMaster agreed. He said selling land is new for the hamlet and council is learning as it goes.
McMaster is cautiously optimistic about the project. He said change is difficult for some residents, and it’s still unclear how the mill will affect the community of about 100 people.
“It’s certainly going to bring opportunities to our residents … but there are mixed feelings about it,” he said.
“The increased truck traffic is a factor.”
McMaster is concerned about convoys of transport trucks idling inside the community, but he also said there is plenty of opportunity to work out those details with the company.
McMaster said the hamlet may hire additional staff to help manage the permitting and regulations of the project.
“We are looking for support from all parts of government to assist us with this,” McMaster said.
“We look forward to building a strong relationship with Mr. Mapes and the pellet mill.”
McMaster declined to provide the sale price of the land.