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Smurfit-Stone to Close Missoula and Ontonagon Mills

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Smurfit-Stone Container Corp., Chicago, Ill., USA, this week announced plans to permanently close its Ontonagon, Mich., and Missoula, Mont., mills, effective December 31. The Ontonagon mill ceased operations in September when it began taking market-related downtime. The Missoula mill will continue operating until December 31. The Ontonagon mill has 182 employees and the Missoula mill has 417 employees.

The Ontonagon mill, which produces 280,000 tons of corrugating medium annually, and the Missoula mill, which produces 620,000 tons of linerboard annually, are high-cost facilities that do not provide adequate returns over the long term for the company, Smurfit-Stone said.

"These decisions were made to ensure the company's long-term growth and profitability and do not reflect on the hard work and commitment of employees at the Ontonagon and Missoula mills," said Steve Klinger, president and COO, adding that "we recognize that closing facilities is always difficult on our employees, their families, and the communities, and we will work with our employees, union representatives, and public officials during these transitions."


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