We continuously focus on worker health and safety since nearly every employee is new to the mining industry. Our Health and Safety Department provides safety training and support to all departments, with a special focus on near-miss and hazard reporting.
The New Afton mine will be an important direct and indirect contributor to the regional and local economy. We actively pursue positive relationships with our neighbouring communities, and in recent years have held discussions concerning the project’s impact with local governments, First Nations groups, tenure holders, special interests groups and the general public.
The mine is located within the asserted traditional territories of the Tk’emlúps and Skeetchestn Bands. These bands are part of the larger cultural group known as the Secwepemc or Shuswap First Nation. The New Afton Participation Agreement with local First Nations ensures preferential treatment for business owners from the bands and their business partners. This mutually beneficial Participation Agreement has been considered a best practice in Canada. We also strive to contribute to our local communities and regularly provide funding for various sporting, health and community groups as well as scholarships and donations to the Tk’emlúps and Skeetchestn bands.
A video about the Participation Agreement is available here.
In the mine’s semi-arid climate, water management and conservation are essential and we strive to minimize the water drawn from Lake Kamloops through recycling and reuse, and by preventing water discharge from the site. We use reclaimed water from the pit, and ensure that no surface water is discharged from the site.
Air quality is constantly monitored and dust suppressant is used in areas of high traffic. A dust mitigation plan has been adopted to ensure that the site does not impact negatively on the local air shed.
We recycle waste whenever possible, including office paper, cardboard, aluminum, plastics and batteries, fluorescent lights and used tires, to minimize consumption and reduce landfill and greenhouse gas generation. All wastes are treated according to laws and regulations.
Extensive plans are in place to ensure the reclamation and re-vegetation of the mine site. A partnership with Thompson Rivers University has been established to find the most efficient way to reclaim the natural grasslands that host the mine site.
New Gold has partnered with the Nature Conservancy of Canada by financially assisting the formation of the Warner Philip Conservation Area, a 260-hectare area located about 20 minutes south of Kamloops. We see this project as an unofficial biodiversity offset from mine site activities that result in disturbance of former grasslands.