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Biodiversity Management

At New Gold sites, environmental stewardship means more than applying restoration practices to lands that are affected by mining to create a habitat conducive to natural biodiversity. It also means conserving the environment on lands that are undisturbed by mining operations.

At all our sites, we have identified different levels of at-risk species. The table below lists the at-risk species that have been found at each of our operations, and their at-risk status.

At-Risk Species1

Species Location IUCN Status1 Other Status Management Plan/Procedures
in Place
Fairy Duster Mesquite n/a California Native Plan Protection Act – Sensitive and Protected species Yes
Desert Tortoise Mesquite Vulnerable USA Endangered Species Act – threatened and endangered species Yes
Candy Barrel Cactus Cerro San Pedro n/a Mexican Official Norm of SEMARNAT NOM-059-SEMARNAT-2010 – Endemic-Protected Yes
Electrode Cactus Cerro San Pedro n/a Mexican Official Norm of SEMARNAT NOM-059-SEMARNAT-2010 – Endemic-Protected Yes
Snowball Cactus Cerro San Pedro n/a SEMARNAT NOM-059-SEMARNAT-2010 – Endemic-Threatened Yes
Stenocactus Coptonogonus Cerro San Pedro Least Concern Mexican Official Norm of SEMARNAT NOM-059-SEMARNAT-2010 – Endemic-Protected Yes
Peyotillo Cerro San Pedro Least Concern Mexican Official Norm of SEMARNAT NOM-059-SEMARNAT-2010 – Endemic-Protected Yes
Worthen's Sparrow Cerro San Pedro Endangered Mexican Official Norm of SEMARNAT NOM-059-SEMARNAT-2010 – Endemic-Engineered Yes
Northern Flicker Cerro San Pedro Least Concern Mexican Official Norm of SEMARNAT NOM-059-SEMARNAT-2010 – Endemic-Engineered Yes
Black-tailed
Jackrabbit
Cerro San Pedro Least Concern Mexican Official Norm of SEMARNAT NOM-059-SEMARNAT-2010 – Endemic-Protected Yes
American Badger Cerro San Pedro Least Concern Mexican Official Norm of SEMARNAT NOM-059-SEMARNAT-2010 – No Endemic-Endangered Yes
Striped Whip Snake Cerro San Pedro Least Concern n/a Yes
Greer's Mexican Kingsnake Cerro San Pedro Least Concern Mexican Official Norm of SEMARNAT NOM-059-SEMARNAT-2010 – No Endemic-Endangered Yes
Mexican Pine Snake Cerro San Pedro Least Concern Mexican Official Norm of SEMARNAT NOM-059-SEMARNAT-2010 – No Endemic-Endangered Yes
Mohave Rattlesnake Cerro San Pedro Least Concern Mexican Official Norm of SEMARNAT NOM-059-SEMARNAT-2010 – Endemic-Protected Yes
Huamantlan
Rattlesnake
Cerro San Pedro Least Concern Mexican Official Norm of SEMARNAT NOM-059-SEMARNAT-2010 – Endemic-Protected Yes
Mexican Mud Turtle Cerro San Pedro Least Concern Mexican Official Norm of SEMARNAT NOM-059-SEMARNAT-2010 – Endemic-Protected Yes
Kultarr Peak Mines Least Concern New South Wales Threatened Species Conservation Act – Endangered Species Yes
Western Toad New Afton Vulnerable British Columbia – Blue List1
Canada Species at Risk Act (SARA) – Special Concern
Yes
Great Basin
Spadefoot Toad
New Afton Least Concern British Columbia – Blue List;
Canada Species at Risk Act (SARA) – Threatened
Yes
Northern Caribou Blackwater Least Concern British Columbia – Blue List; SARA – Threatened Yes
Whitebark Pine Blackwater Vulnerable British Columbia – Blue List Yes

The Fairy Dust is a species-at-risk found within Mesquite’s mine lease area.

Habitat under Restoration

New Gold operations practise progressive rehabilitation of lands affected by its activity as soon as areas become available after operations cease. We also rehabilitate historic mining areas within our leases. In 2012, our sites implemented rehabilitation and reclamation of almost 120 hectares of land.

Approximate hectares4

1 This table has been expanded from 2011 to include the results of wildlife monitoring study completed at Cerro San Pedro in 2012.

2 The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species includes seven categories ranging from Least Concern to Extinct.

3 Includes any indigenous species or subspecies considered to be of Special Concern (formerly Vulnerable) in British Columbia.

4 These figures include reclamation activities such as seeding, replanting and removal of contaminated material within and outside our properties.

The Blackwater claim block covers 27,175 hectares in central British Columbia, on the northern flanks of Mt. Davidson in the Nechako Plateau (an eventual mine site would have a much smaller footprint). The project is not located in a protected area; however the exploration area is adjacent to a Provincial Ungulate Winter Range (UWR) of about 40 hectares that is protected by Provincial Order. A UWR is an area that contains habitat that is necessary to meet the winter habitat requirements of an ungulate species, in this case, the Northern Caribou.

We have taken significant steps to ensure high environmental standards and best practices in biodiversity management at Blackwater. We modified the original exploration program to protect the adjacent UWR and established a Northern Caribou Management Plan. The main objectives of this plan are to minimize impacts of mineral exploration and predator and human access to Northern Caribou habitat, and to minimize disturbance and displacement of Northern Caribou.

The project is also near to a population of White Bark Pine trees that are listed on Schedule 1 of the Canadian Species At-Risk Act. We have established a White Bark Pine management plan to minimize impacts to this species. This plan includes provisions for seed collection and propagation trials with a view to using the species in future mine reclamation.