JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – TSX- and NYSE-listed intermediate gold miner New Gold has achieved first commercial production at its Ontario-based Rainy River mine, about two weeks ahead of schedule.
"Achieving commercial production is a major milestone for New Gold and the Rainy River team. With the hard work, dedication and commitment of our workforce, and the strong support of our local communities and indigenous partners, we are now focused on continuing to successfully ramp up the operation through the balance of the year,” said New Gold president and CEO Hannes Portmann.
The Rainy River mine began processing ore in September, as scheduled, and announced its first gold pour earlier this month.
In the first 30 days of operation, the project has successfully processed about 457 000 t of ore. Including four days of intentional downtime as part of the commissioning plan, the processing rate has averaged 15 200 t/d, or 72% of the 21 000 t/d nameplate capacity.
New Gold defines commercial production as exceeding 60% of nameplate capacity over a 30-day period. Importantly, in the first 18 days of October, the processing rate averaged 19 000 t/d, or 90% of nameplate capacity. To date, grade and recoveries have been consistent with New Gold's commissioning plan.
New Gold has five producing assets in top-rated jurisdictions, including the New Afton and Rainy River mines in Canada; Mesquite mine in US; Peak mine in Australia; and the Cerro San Pedro mine in Mexico. In addition, New Gold owns 100% of the Canada-based Blackwater project.