10/02/2013 07:50 EDT | Updated 12/02/2013 05:12 EST

Newfoundland lumber mill closes temporarily due to shortage of logs

BLOOMFIELD, N.L. - A lumber mill in central Newfoundland says it has been forced to shut down temporarily due to a shortage of logs.

Sexton Lumber in Bloomfield closed last Thursday, temporarily laying off close to 80 workers.

The owner of the company says it has exhausted their existing log supply due to increased demand and since it supplies building lumber to the province, building supply companies will soon have to import lumber from the Maritimes.

Kevin Sexton says the provincial government is sitting on timber land at the former AbitibiBowater site in Grand Falls-Windsor that can be accessed.

But Natural Resources Minister Tom Marshall says the company has refused offers for additional logs from Corner Brook Pulp and Paper and the government.

Marshall says the government values the company and time is needed to re-establish inventory.

Sexton says it will be at least four to six weeks before the mill can resume business.

(VOCM, The Canadian Press)