EAST MILLINOCKET — The state of Maine is getting more time to find a buyer for shuttered paper mills in Millinocket and East Millinocket.

Brookfield Asset Management of Toronto had planned to begin selling the equipment in the mills next week.

But Gov. Paul LePage says Brookfield has delayed the liquidation plan in hopes a buyer can be found.

LePage says he’s “cautiously optimistic” a deal can be reached.

The Bangor Daily News says no one would say how much extra time Brookfield will give to close a deal for the mills.

The Millinocket mill closed in September 2008. The East Millinocket mill closed on April 1. The closure of the two mills cost about 600 jobs.