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A fire at American Iron and Metal's scrapyard facility in Saint John on Sept. 14, 2023. Image: Submitted/Jennifer Mai

Group seeks clarification on AIM’s licence revocation

By Regis Phillips Jan 11, 2024 | 4:16 PM

Concern remains around the future of the American Iron and Metal (AIM) operations at Port Saint John operations after last September’s fire.

On December 29, a news release from the provincial government said AIM’s salvage dealers licence had been revoked.

But Bryan Wilson, a spokesperson for Liveable Saint John, said the release did not mention the company’s approval to operate, issued by the Department of Environment.

“The general public has some confusion and anxiety because the announcement made around Christmastime sort of gave the public the general impression that AIM was closed forever. We then noticed there was no comment from the Minister of Environment,” said Wilson.

“The shredder is a specific approval, and that operation is governed by the Minister of Environment (Gary Crossman) and their rule around the shredder machine, and then the actual storage of the shredded material … how it’s stored, how it’s moved around, how it’s received in an out of the site, it’s the salvage yard portion of the approval.

“So some people are wondering if this is a technicality. By not having a salvage yard that they’re not allowed to operate in, then by extension, they can’t run the shredder as well because it has to reside in the salvage yard. That’s a question we don’t know,” Wilson added.

A spokesperson for the Department of Environment confirmed to our newsroom that the approval to operate remains suspended, but said it would not be commenting further on the company’s Port Saint John operations.

Wilson said he believes AIM will fight tooth and nail every step of the way if operations are forced to move locations.

“AIM states this is one of their crown jewels of the Atlantic, that they have access to a port and railways, and looking at their global footprint and where they operate from, it does look like a unique situation. It’s a high-value product for them,” said Wilson.

“Ironically if it’s a high-value product, they could’ve treated it better. They receive a Lamborghini and they treated it like a junker.”


A petition calling for the permanent closure of AIM’s port location now has more than 2,500 signatures.