The Blackwater project is expected to produce an average of 485,000 ounces of gold per year at below industry average costs.
Located in the politically secure jurisdiction of south-central British Columbia, Blackwater is planned as a conventional truck and shovel open pit mine. The project benefits from our great relationships with Indigenous communities, other stakeholders and regulators – building on the excellent relations established at our New Afton mining operation.
Blackwater lies in a highly prospective land package of over 1,000 square kilometres. During 2015, Blackwater continued with environmental and permitting activities as well as exploration efforts.
2015 environmental and permitting activities included:
- Comments from key regulatory agencies and First Nations on the Environmental Assessment report were addressed.
- The federal and provincial governments accepted the Environmental Assessment report into the technical review process in the fourth quarter of 2015.
- The technical review process and a public review of the Environmental Assessment report began in January 2016, with receipt of provincial and federal Environmental Assessment approvals expected in late 2016 or early 2017.
- Continued key engineering studies for advancement of post-Environmental Assessment approval permits.
- Continued discussions with key First Nations on Participation Agreements.
Exploration crews were also busy. During the year, they confirmed the Blackwater mineralization signature extends several kilometres west and south of the main deposit, which is more widespread than previously known. The results provide further confirmation of the area’s strong potential for the discovery of additional gold and silver resources.
In the current commodity price environment, New Gold plans to sequence the development of its projects with the near-term focus on the advancement of the lower-capital-cost Rainy River project. Thereafter, the timing of Blackwater’s development will be driven by prevailing market conditions.