TSX- and NYSE-listed New Gold produced 110 559 oz of gold in the fourth quarter of 2018, taking full-year production to 455 448 oz.
Production was supported by the Rainy River and New Afton mines, in Canada. The Rainy River mine reported its best-ever quarterly gold production of 77 202 oz in the fourth quarter – a 39% increase compared with the prior quarter.
The stronger operational performance achieved in September from Rainy River continued into the fourth quarter with the last four months of the year contributing 45% of the 227 284 oz produced for the year.
The New Afton mine delivered solid quarterly gold production of 18 778 oz, contributing to yearly production of 77 329 oz.
New Afton also produced 20.8-million pounds of copper in the fourth quarter and 85.1-million pounds of copper for the year.
Mine closure activities continued at the Cerro San Pedro mine, in Mexico, during the fourth quarter, and delivered 1 448 oz through residual leaching of the heap leach pads.
Meanwhile, consistent with the renewed vision of repositioning the Rainy River mine for long-term success, the company has adopted a disciplined approach to capital allocation as well as mine life optimisation.
Accordingly, management has deferred the 2019 underground mine development plan to 2020.
New Gold will, this year, launch a comprehensive review that includes alternative underground mining scenarios, with the overall objective of reducing capital and improving the return on investment for the underground portion of the life-of-mine.
Further, an internally funded development strategy for the New Afton C-zone has been launched, which will extend the mine’s life to 2030 with robust economics.