Energy and GHG Emissions Management

It takes a lot of energy to break, grind and transport vast amounts of rock. Our activities are energy intensive and result in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, from the mobile equipment required to operate a mine to the off-site generated electric power that we purchase to supply our operations. Improving our energy efficiency and reducing GHG emissions not only lessens climate-related risks to the broader environment, but also brings inherent cost advantages.

We continue working on implementation of the Towards Sustainable Mining (TSM) Protocol as well as the Energy and GHG Management system across all operations. Energy champions have been engaged to assess opportunities for savings and a number of projects are being implemented across New Gold sites. One of these efforts is an innovative energy management system implemented at New Afton in 2013, leading to an ISO 50001 certification in 2014. New Afton is the first mine in Canada to achieve certification against this international standard and remains the only mine in North America to maintain it through 2016. We have extended the learning experiences to our other operations and in 2016 Mesquite started working towards the implementation of the standard.

In 2015, New Gold started a process towards an Energy Management Strategy. In 2016 we continued to lay the foundation for the development of the Strategy. Implementation of the New Gold Energy Strategy is expected to drive energy management and efficiency across our operations and embed energy savings into our culture, with benefits for our competitiveness and for the environment.

New Gold reports energy and greenhouse data publicly to the Mining Association of Canada and to the Carbon Disclosure Project. All of our sites continue to work on the development of long- and short-term efficiency targets in an effort to improve energy savings over time.

Performance in 2016

In 2016, the total direct energy consumed across the company was 4,200,363 gigajoules (GJ). The following are other highlights on energy and GHG emissions in 2016:

  • New Gold’s total consumption of fuels increased significantly in 2016 mostly due to construction activities at Rainy River and longer ore hauling routes at Mesquite as a result of the expansion of the leach pads. This was despite a significant reduction of fuels used at Cerro San Pedro as a result of the cessation of mining activities.
  • At Cerro San Pedro, about 30% of the diesel consumed was biodiesel.
  • New Gold mine operations experienced about 23% reduction in diesel use, with Peak Mines (8%) and Cerro San Pedro (72%) showing significant reductions that more than offset increases at Mesquite (7%) and New Afton (37%).
  • In 2016, electricity use increased only about 1%. At Peak Mines, where mine development requires increased power to ventilate and cool the air to allow workers to operate in an acceptable environment, we were able to reduce electricity usage by approximately 30%. At New Afton, we increased electric power use by about 9%. At Cerro San Pedro, where electricity is used to pump solution to growing leach pads, usage increased by about 8%. At Mesquite, electricity use increased by approximately 15%.
  • New Gold’s greenhouse gas intensity, measured as tonnes of CO2-e per kilotonne of ore processed, increased slightly, from 6.0 to 7.1. This is a result of the cessation of mining activities at Cerro San Pedro and consequent reduction of ore sent to leach pads at the site. While diesel use was significantly reduced, electrical power actually increased at the site as process solution has been pumped to leach pads that has now reached their maximum heights.

New Gold Energy Consumption – Across Sites

7255_NewGold_CSR_TotalEnergyConsumption

Across New Gold, diesel is by far the most significant portion of our energy consumption, used primarily as fuel for mobile fleet operations, followed by purchased electricity for mill operations. Propane, gasoline and natural gas represent a relatively small portion of the energy consumed by our operations and projects. Natural gas is used at New Afton to heat the underground workings during winter months.

Natural gas usage increased at New Afton as the active underground works has expanded. We use a heating system and Ventilation on Demand, which ensures that only those areas that are being occupied by workers are ventilated and heated.

Fuel Consumption by Major Sources – All sites

Major Sources 2014 2015 2016
Diesel consumption (000s litres) 54,351 60,659 69,905
Gasoline consumption (000s litres) 678 1,248 2,329
Propane (000s litres) (includes LP) 1,019 742 1,077
Natural gas (000s litres) 1,888,374 1,393,527 1,484,878

Electric Power Consumption – Operations Only

Indirect Energy 2014 2015 2016
Power purchased (MWhs) 329,487 365,429 370,2581
1.

Estimated 241,712 MWhs (65%) hydroelectric power and 128,546 MWhs (35%) of electricity generated by other sources. Fuels consumed to produce electricity other than hydroelectricity include coal, fuel oil, natural gas, nuclear (Ontario), biomass and renewables as reported by electricity providers.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions – All sites

Emissions (000s of tonnes of CO2-e) 2014 2015 2016
Diesel 145.1 161.5 186.2
Gasoline 1.4 2.9 5.3
Propane 1.5 1.1 1.6
Natural gas 3.9 2.6 2.8
Power 100.3 111.4 89.8
Explosives 3.0 2.9 1.5
Total 255.3 282.4 287.3

Greenhouse Gas/Ore Processed Ratio

Efficiency: Total Emissions1,2 per Ore Processed (000s tonnes), as Tonnes of CO2-e

7255_NewGold_CSR_OreProcessed
1.

For the purposes of this report, carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2-e) emissions generated were calculated using the TSM Energy and GHG Emissions Management Reference Guide. Emissions considered for this ratio calculation include operations only.

2.

The CO2-e emissions generated indirectly from purchased energy are calculated using relevant factors from each jurisdiction for consistency with locally reported numbers.