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Waste Management

As with any mining activity, New Gold’s operations generate waste materials. Process waste includes the non-mineralized rock that must be removed and disposed in a safe manner in order to access the mineralized ore. It also includes the remnant leach piles that are left after metals have been extracted, or at Peak Mines and New Afton, the tailings and waste rock that are left after gold and copper mineral concentrate has been obtained.

Process Waste

Waste Types 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008
Waste Rock (000s tonnes)1 46,673 51,266 52,570 40,408 14,517
Leach Piles – ready for reclamation (tonnes) - - - - -
Tailings (000s tonnes)2 2,665 734 747 794 769

1 The waste rock reported by Peak Mines and New Afton refers only to materials brought to the surface. During late 2011 and early 2012 additional waste rock was brought to the surface to assist with rebuilding the tailings storage facility at Peak Mines.

2 Tailings figures up to 2011 are from Peak Mines only. In 2012 the New Afton Mine started to produce tailings.

Recycling of non-process waste is another essential part of good environmental management, and is practiced at all New Gold sites. Typically, recycled materials include used oils and lubricants, tires, scrap metal, plastics, aluminum, cardboard, wood materials, batteries as well as wastewater. We recycled approximately 513 tonnes of used tires and increased the recycling of paper, plastic and metals by 60% from approximately 752 tonnes in 2011 to approximately 1,259 tonnes in 2012. We also compost materials from the cafeteria at Cerro San Pedro: in 2012, we composted more than a half tonne of material at the site.

At Mesquite, leach pad materials are expected to be became landfill cover material for the nearby Los Angeles County landfill operation once the mine is closed.

Non-Process Waste Recycled

Materials Recycled 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008
Paper, Plastic, Metals and Other (tonnes) 1,259.1 752.4 599.6 686.7 483.0
Oil and Lubricants (000s litres) 624.8 527.2 654.2 563.1 245.8
Tires (tonnes) 512.9 Not reported Not reported Not reported Not reported