New Gold runs the New Afton Mine in Canada, Mesquite in the US, Peak Mines in Australia and Mexico’s Cerro San Pedro
It also owns the Rainy River and Blackwater projects in its native Canada, as well as 30% of the El Morro Mine in Chile.
In 2013, the company’s revenue was $780m, having produced 397,688 ounces of gold, 85.4m pounds of copper and 1.6m ounces of silver. The New Afton copper-gold mine, in British Columbia, 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.
A participation agreement, signed in 2008 and amended in 2011, ensures preferential treatment for business owners from the bands. Considered best practice in Canada, the agreement guides
discussion and provides input and oversight on environmental stewardship, business opportunities, employment, education and training, and socio-economics.
A collaborative, multitiered approach ensures that the communities within the agreement benefit economically, while safe guarding their environmental and cultural interests. To ensure First Nations
participation, and provide feedback, an environmental monitoring board made up of First Nations partners and regulators was also established.
New Gold has trained local people to work at New Afton, and currently about 23% of its employees are indigenous people. “We hired a First Nations coordinator to make sure that these conditions would be implemented not just to the letter but also to the spirit/intent,” a company spokeswoman says. “We will look for opportunities and solutions to any problems and have brought in a mediator when we needed that third party to assist us to resolve issues.”
New Gold regularly provides funding for community groups, as well as scholarships and donations to the Tk’emlúps and Skeetchestn bands.
This management briefing was published as part of knowledge exchange for upcoming Responsible Extractives Summit North America, where the likes of Shell, Conoco Phillips, Rio Tinto and Vale Global will be discussing how to collaborate and innovate to support sustainable business growth. Find out more here.extractives gold minerals mining Oil responsible extractives