BY LINDSAY BRISCOE
It’s an “exciting time” at New Gold Inc.’s Rainy River Project. With major construction currently underway, management expects the second wave of recruiting to start in Q4 2016.
There are currently about 172 people on the operations team, a number that will grow by approximately three and a half times over the next few years.
“Our target right now as we head toward commercial production is about 450. There’s a second piece of the development that occurs after commercial production and that’s the development of our underground mine. At that time we’ll be looking at probably another 100 to 150 people, so just about 600 total once the underground and open pit are operating,” explained the Rainy River Project’s General Manager Grant Goddard in an interview on Feb. 26.
The majority of the current workforce is made up of locals from the Rainy River district; communities like Barwick, Emo, Devlin, and Fort Frances. The actual mine site is approximately 65 km northwest of Fort Frances, and about five minutes west of Hwy 71. Goddard says it’s an ideal location.
“Our team can be at work, even on the 12-hour type shift operation we’re running, and can be home in the evening with their families.”
Right now the project is about 25 per cent complete, and is expected to be about 75 per cent complete by the end of 2016. Commercial production is anticipated for mid-2017.
The mill process building and power line are currently under construction.
“Mine development work kicked off in the fourth quarter of last year, so if you were to visit today you’d see what is the start of an open pit. To support that, we’ve erected, assembled, and commissioned the first phase of our fleet of major mining equipment and all of our support equipment.”
The projected mine life of the open pit and underground operations is 14 years, with a 21,000 tonne per day processing rate from a combination of open pit, underground, and stockpiled ore. The project is expected to produce 325,000 ounces of gold annually.
New Gold Inc. has a portfolio of four producing assets in Canada, the U.S., Australia, and Mexico, and two significant development projects, both in Canada.