POINT TUPPER, N.S. - The NewPage paper mill in Nova Scotia has completed an indefinite shutdown of its two paper machines, marking the end of an era for the 49-year-old operation.

A spokeswoman for the Point Tupper mill says the second of the company's two paper machines stopped running at 8 a.m. today.

Patricia Dietz says most of the mill's 600 employees will be laid off after finishing shifts in the next 10 days.

She says by Oct. 1, a skeleton crew of 50 people will be left to maintain the plant while a new buyer is sought.

 

NewPage is blaming high power costs, a strong Canadian dollar and rising shipping costs for the closure.

Port Hawkesbury Mayor Billy Joe MacLean says the shutdown is a sad moment in the region's history.

But he says he's hopeful that a buyer will be found for the mill, which has lost US$50 million over the last year, according to an affidavit NewPage filed with the province's Supreme Court.

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