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Caring for Our Environment

At every New Gold site, we take a proactive risk-management approach to safeguarding the environment. At every stage of a mine’s life cycle, we apply best practices in environmental management, guided by national and international standards. From the earliest site investigations, we carry out comprehensive environmental studies to establish baseline measurements for flora, fauna, land, air and water. As mining operations proceed, we work to minimize environmental impacts and maintain robust monitoring programs, including monitoring groundwater and air quality. We strive to minimize energy and water consumption, and reduce material consumption through recycling and reuse. At all New Gold mines, blast operations are closely monitored for vibration. At Cerro San Pedro, located in close proximity to the historic Cerro de San Pedro village, blast operations are also observed by monitors from federal authorities.

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Sunset at Peak Mines. In 2012, Peak Mines was highly commended by the Shire of Cobar for its environmental performance.

We have environmental management systems at all mines. Cerro San Pedro has been ISO 14001 certified since 2008. In 2013, we will embark on the development of a New Gold Environmental Management System that will provide clear internal guidelines. It will be designed such that compliance with the New Gold Environment Management System will ensure compliance to ISO 14001 and other relevant international standards.

As environmental performance highlights in 2012, New Afton won the Sustainability Award granted by the Mining Association of British Columbia and British Columbia Ministry of Energy Mines and Natural Gas, and Peak Mines received a “Highly Commended” designation for Environmental Achievement at the Shire of Cobar Business Awards.

Scorecard 4:
Environmental Performance

Target Achieved Target in Progress Target Missed
Priorities Target 2012 Performance 2012 Target 2013
Incidents Review and update all sites’ risk registries. Environmental risk registries have been revised and updated as part of the ISO 14001 review. Establish an automated incident recording and tracking system across all sites.
Water Identify targets and build plans into budget cycle for 2013. Adopted the GRI protocol for monitoring and reporting water recycling and reuse. Continue to monitor and report water recycling and reuse.

Complete evaluation of the pilot project at Cerro San Pedro to utilize treated city water in leach piles as an alternative to groundwater.

Energy Identify targets and build plans into budget cycle for 2013. Will adopt the Towards Sustainable Mining (TSM) Energy and GHG Management Protocol as a guideline for all sites. Achieve TSM Energy and GHG Management Level B in all operations.

Achieve ISO 50001 (Energy Management) compliance at New Afton.

Greenhouse Gases (GHG) Identify targets and build plans into budget cycle for 2013. Will adopt the TSM Energy and GHG Management Protocol as a guideline for all sites. Achieve TSM Energy and GHG Management Level B in all operations.

Initiate reporting to Carbon Disclosure Project.

Waste Management Identify targets and build plans into budget cycle for 2013. 2013 target defined. Increase overall recycling across sites by 10%.
Reclamation Continue progressive reclamation. Legacy site reclamation performed at Peak Mines and New Afton and planned at Cerro San Pedro. Complete the restoration of higher-risk historical mine shafts at Peak Mines to a safe, stable, and non-polluting state.

At Cerro San Pedro, reforest 70 hectares of land at Monte Caldera.