03/05/2015 05:23 EST | Updated 05/05/2015 05:59 EDT

Resolute Forest Products shuts down paper machine at Quebec mill; 85 jobs lost

MONTREAL - Resolute Forest Products Inc. (TSX:RFP) says it will close a specialty paper machine at its mill in Alma, Que., in a move that will see the loss of about 85 jobs.

The Alma paper mill employs 340 people with annual production capacity of 350,000 metric tons of specialty papers across three machines.

The company says the closure of the paper machine at the mill represents a reduction of 75,000 metric tons of annual capacity.

Resolute says it will work with union representatives and government to help the affected employees who may have the opportunity to transfer to other company operations.

The company blamed the decision on a weak market, exacerbated by fibre cost issues in Quebec, as well as campaigns by environmental activist groups including Greenpeace.

Resolute sued Greenpeace in 2013 after the organization accused it of building roads and cutting trees in regions of Quebec it had promised it would stay out of under the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement, an agreement on forest preservation and harvesting signed by environmental groups and Canada's main forestry companies.

Greenpeace later retracted allegations it had made about road-building, but Resolute accused the group of repeating those charges nonetheless.

Resolute owns or operates some 40 pulp and paper mills and wood product operations in the United States, Canada and South Korea, and power generation assets in Canada.