Environmental Incidents and Regulatory Compliance

All New Gold sites strive to protect the quality of the land, water and air, and to comply with all relevant environmental laws and regulations. New Gold sites must internally report and rank notable environmental events regardless of their regulatory significance. We work with the appropriate government agencies, partners and key communities of interest in an effort to ensure that our activities meet or exceed their requirements.

As part of the New Gold Environmental Management Standards, Incident Reporting Guidelines have been developed to ensure that appropriate reporting, investigation, level of control and response is applied to any incident. It also categorizes incidents consistently across all jurisdictions by identifying those events that are significant to New Gold, independent of local regulations. Should any incidents occur, we are committed to prompt response, reporting and remedial measures to prevent or minimize environmental or community impacts.

Another important part of our Environmental Management Standards is our Obligations and Commitments Register. Each site compiles a detailed register that ensures our sites know what they must do to comply with relevant laws and permits and that appropriate individuals are held accountable. These are routinely reviewed so that compliance is maintained and each item is current and reflective of changes to local laws.

New Gold ensures that all our sites are prepared and equipped to handle emergencies, if they were to occur. A crisis management exercise is regularly performed for each site, which includes a simulated environmental or safety incident, to ensure each site’s readiness to address an incident and to communicate with internal and external parties.

Performance in 2016

The following summarizes our performance regarding environmental incidents in 2016:

  • There were no incidents rated higher than “Moderate” as per the New Gold Environmental Standards across the sites.
  • There were nine incidents rated “Moderate” as per the New Gold Environmental Standards across the operations. Six were cyanide-related (discussed under Cyanide Management), and three were hydrocarbon spills – two at New Afton and one at Mesquite. Environmental clean-up immediately followed incidents. Investigations and root cause analyses were completed as a means to understand the key factors that led to these incidents. Corrective actions have been implemented for each incident.
  • In February 2016 we paused work on the Rainy River tailings management facility when deformations were identified at the Water Management Pond Dam 5. The site implemented design changes that have satisfied the regulators and work recommenced in August 2016.