Rainy River Gold Project enhances local community
Northwestern Ontario community will benefit
New Gold’s Rainy River Gold Project, located in Richardson Township in northwestern Ontario, is nearing completion on schedule. The project is scheduled to transition into operation in September 2017.
The processing facility is almost ready for operation. “All of the key structural components of the process facilities have been finalized, and the setting of mechanical equipment and installation of piping, electrical and instrumentation services is close to completion,” said Julie Taylor, director of corporate communications and investor relations with New Gold.
Mining activities at Rainy River are progressing well—New Gold has already begun mining at the site. “The mining rate averaged approximately 115,000 tonnes per day in the second quarter, and New Gold expects to build momentum through (the rest of summer),” said Taylor.
Although the tailings management facility is not quite ready, “New Gold is presently constructing a starter tailings cell, located within the broader tailings management area, which will allow New Gold to commence operations prior to completion of the tailings management area,” she said.
The location of the Rainy River Gold project is beneficial with regards to the infrastructure in place before construction began as well as the proximity of a possible workforce. Year-round road access, nearby powerlines and a nearby railway have contributed to the smooth construction process.
Enhancing the local community
The Rainy River Gold project has become an active member of the community, beginning when the project was in the development stage. “From first construction in February 2015 to first production in September 2017, we will have hired almost 500 people," Taylor said. "We are proud that our employees are 78 per cent local, 30 per cent Aboriginal and 16 per cent women.” Positions filled span across construction, facility operation and surface mining. These numbers do not include the local contractors working on-site throughout construction.
Early on in the project, New Gold’s community engagement team connected with the locals to spread the news of upcoming opportunities. “Our community engagement team works closely with communities and helped community leadership and individuals understand what opportunities were available,” said Taylor. New Gold held local career fairs, reached out to employment agencies and connected with training facilities about upcoming opportunities.
Throughout construction, New Gold has kept the public up to date on project progress through information meetings and site tours.
In-house training opportunities
New Gold is dedicated to enhancing the local community at Rainy River. “Currently about 70 per cent of our workforce comes from the Rainy River and Kenora districts,” Taylor said. A large factor in the company's ability to contribute to the growth of the community is its on-site training team. This in-house team allows the company to hire local wherever possible and can offer job opportunities to individuals with little or no mining experience.
Aside from job-specific training, New Gold is committed to employee safety. The on-site safety training covers mine rescue, basic first aid and every possibility in-between. Rainy River’s emergency response teams are drawn directly from the operational mine staff. The goal is to have about 110 trained responders working in their respective roles around the site, ready to respond in the case of an emergency. Employees who choose to join the emergency response team receive additional training, adding to their personal skills.
Transitioning into operation
Just months away from full operation, New Gold is excited for the future of the Rainy River Gold Mine and the growth of the company. “New Gold continues to look forward to the expected growth in the company's production and cash flow once Rainy River transitions into operation later this year,” said Taylor. “Rainy River has multiple important asset qualities including its great jurisdiction, significant annual production potential, long estimated reserve life and continued exploration potential.”