New Gold Inc. reported in late July that overall construction at its Rainy River project in northwestern Ontario is more than 40% complete. Plant site earthworks were substantially complete, and concrete placement was more than 75% complete. Power line construction was substantially complete.
New Gold continues to target first production at Rainy River in mid-2017, with production planned to average 325,000 oz/y. Initial mine life is planned at 14 years.
Project capital expenditures at Rainy River totaled $107 million in the second quarter of 2016, bringing total project capital spending through June 30 to $501 million. Based on spending to date, and assuming a C$1.30/US$1 exchange rate on capital expenditures going forward, New Gold is forecasting that total capital cost to complete the project will come in at approximately $940 million.
Mine operations at Rainy River moved approximately 5 million mt of waste and overburden during the second quarter, bringing total material moved to more than 7 million mt. The mining rate continues to increase and was averaging about 68,000 mt/d at the end of the quarter.
In the Rainy River processing plant, installation of mechanical, piping, electrical, and instrumentation was under way in the grinding building and the primary crusher. The first ball mill shell segment had been placed in the grinding building, the pre-leach thickener tank was 90% complete, and leach tanks were 30% complete.
New Gold has received approval to begin pumping an initial amount of water from the Pinewood River to the Rainy River water management facility. Approvals to begin remediation work on the water management facilities were expected in the coming weeks, and final submission of redesigns to the tailings management facility was planned for mid-August.
New Gold is headquartered in Toronto and is listed on the Toronto and New York stock exchanges. Its three active mining operations are the New Afton mine in south-central British Columbia; the Mesquite mine in southeast California; and Peak Mines in west-central New South Wales, Australia. Mining has ended at the Cerro San Pedro mine in San Luis Potosí state, Mexico, and the project has transitioned to residual leaching.
New Gold is forecasting that its 2016 gold production will be in the range of 360,000 oz to 400,000 oz of gold.