At New Gold we celebrate our teams and the work they have done over the past year. On this page you will find examples of how our teams in Canada and Mexico have lived out our values and contributed to our sustainability efforts to support communities, take care of our environment and promote a health and safety culture across the company. We value all of our staff and the contributions they have made to continue to strengthen New Gold’s sustainability goals. Download our 2019 Values Report here.

A New Generation of Miners

Partnerships Allow for Training Opportunities

In 2019, New Afton Mine developed a collaborative partnership with Thompson Rivers University, the Mining Industry Human Resources Council and the Centre of Training Excellence in Mining to run three Underground Mining Training programs. The five-week training program incorporated both on-site and classroom learning helped 39 new miners gain industry-specific skills that allowed them to begin entry-level tasks in New Afton’s underground mine. Time spent at the mine involved hands-on skill development with a team of trainers from New Afton, focusing heavily on the company’s strong health and safety culture. Five women graduated from the program, including Christine Christensen. “As a female underground miner, I couldn’t have asked for a better experience in a new career of mining,” said Christensen. Tasks assigned to new underground miners include operating transmixers, pushing cables, grouting, and operating haul trucks. “The cohort program really helped me gain confidence and a working understanding of the concepts that were introduced to me as a new hire in the mining industry” said Dave Bauman, a cohort graduate. Many employees that completed the cohort program have moved beyond those entry level tasks, graduating to operating scoop trams, remote control shotcrete sprayers, installing general mine services and training on loading and blasting. After a year of working underground with a certified blaster and logging details and training hours of their loading and blasting experience, these new hires will be eligible to write their blasting ticket. The collaborative program supports a strong, innovative partnership between industry, community and post-secondary training.

“As a female underground miner, I couldn’t have asked for a better experience in a new career of mining.”

– Christine Christensen

Public Library Opens New Community Room

Rainy River

On February 25th, the Rainy River Public Library Board and representatives of New Gold’s Community Relations Team were on hand to officially open the Library’s new Community Room. The room was a result of a contribution made through New Gold’s Community Investment Program. “The town of Rainy River does not have a Wifi-enabled meeting space for public use. This serious lack of basic facilities places the community at an obvious disadvantage,” says CEO and Librarian Michael Dawber as stated in his application. “We are delighted with the finished Community Room.“ With the installation of a flat-screen television for presentations, conference-call telephone and table and chairs the room is complete and ready for use.

Donna Moen, Library Board Chair commented, “Business, community groups and students all need this space”. “Libraries have been seen as the hub of a community, they are essential in a process of giving citizens access to knowledge and opportunity. In digital times they are needed more than ever. I am excited about the technological upgrades the Library has been able to complete and share with the surrounding communities” says New Gold’s Community Relations Manager, Renee Boucher.

The room is available for use by employers, community groups and private citizens during and after Library hours for a nominal fee.

Spending Time at Skeetchestn Community School

Connecting with Communities

The Skeetchestn Community school has a mission to provide an outstanding education for students in kindergarten through to grade 12. The school follows the BC provincial curriculum, all while teaching Secwépemc culture and language. In June, members of the Environment and Community teams visited the school to teach students about New Afton’s Mine Life Cycle. The team spoke with the students on the importance of current reclamation and the plans in place for future reclamation. Further, the group had the ability to show case New Afton’s Block Cave Video to provide a visual to the students on the mining method used at the mine site.

As one of the largest employers in the region, many students at the school have family members who work at the New Afton Mine and were excited to ask questions about the operation. Both the students and teachers were curious about many different topics, including what happens with all the product, what happens with the remaining ore, how we safely store it as well as the different jobs that exist at New Afton.

“The team spoke with the students on the importance of current reclamation and the plans in place for future reclamation.”

Upon completion of the presentation, New Afton joined the students in painting salmon cut-outs that will be used to decorate the community school fencing. Prior to the painting, the Skeechestn Indian Band carpentry shop constructed the salmon cut-outs, which New Afton sponsored. More than 50 salmon cut-outs were decorated and styled by students from kindergarten to grade 12. The cut-outs will be hung this year to decorate the school fencing.

Fishing is a significant part of the Skeetchestn’s culture and has been used to sustain people for centuries. Deadman River was traditionally used for fishing. Salmon is important to the community as they always return and renew their circle of life.

New Afton is pleased to continue working closely with communities to connect, build understanding, and have fun with each other.

Roundhouse

Miizhikiibinens O’wiigii’aam

The construction of a Roundhouse began recently on the New Gold mine site property. This was one of New Gold’s commitments to Indigenous community partners.

The vision of the Roundhouse came forth from a local Elder and through an offering of tobacco to Elder Francis Kavanaugh, he agreed to provide guidance and direction for selecting the location and design of the Roundhouse. Francis visited the mine site and conducted a pipe ceremony to ask the spirits for their guidance. Francis held an additional ceremony that brought forth a name for the Roundhouse. “When you are provided with the name, it comes alive, like a grandfather or grandmother; it becomes real and you must honor it”, said Francis. It is important to conduct seasonal ceremonies to show respect and offer prayers. From the name came the design for the Roundhouse. It has 13 sides, representing the 13 plates on the back of a turtle (Mikanaak) and the 13 moons (Dibiki-giizis) of the lunar calendar.

The Roundhouse will be used as a place of gathering to conduct traditional ceremonies, celebrations, and to share traditional knowledge. New Gold will also conduct its’ Indigenous Engagement and training sessions at the lodge. The construction of the Roundhouse was completed on May 25th, 2020. The name presented through ceremony was Miizhikiibinens O’wiigii’aam (Descending Thunderbird Lodge).

Environmental Certification

Minera San Xavier

Minera San Xavier took on the task of becoming compliant with the international standard ISO 14001. This certification elevates our excellence in environmental performance, quality, commitment, and competence as part of our integral and inclusive mine closure plans.

The certification was conducted by the international agency Bureau Veritas, and was achieved because of the compliance with its mandatory and voluntary environmental requirements. This certification commits the company to work and improve its system continuously. In 2008, Minera San Xavier obtained its first certification in an environmental management system, since then it has achieved three more revalidations in 2011, 2014 and 2017.

The company continues to work with the same commitment in order to maintain the international certification until the end of its closure. This certification ISO 14001 provides guidance and tools that serves to improve environmental performance. The voluntary adoption of ISO 14001 implies planning and adopting processes that demonstrates that Minera San Xavier works in compliance with the environmental legislations, maintains efficient control of resources, and reduces water consumption and energy. It improves our processes and waste management in order to reduce the risk of environmental accidents.

The Environmental Management System (EMS) is responsible for developing, implementing, reviewing and keeping up to date environmental protection commitments throughout the organization. Among the advantages of having an EMS are: taking corrective actions in case of system failures, improving the development, and performance of its activities which is supported by the documentation and work procedures.