BRITISH COLUMBIA – New Gold of Vancouver says production at its New Afton gold-copper mine and mill has begun, with the first ore fed to the mill on June 28, 2012. The mill is running continually, and the company expects commercial production – 6,500 t/d – will be achieved by the August 2012 target.
Underground mining, begun in Q4 2011, has reached a rate of 5,250 t/d over the last 30 days. That is 47% of the nameplate capacity of 11,000 t/d. The 11,000-t/d mining rate will be reached in early 2013. The surface stockpile has includes 1.0 million tonnes, enough for three months’ of full production. The stockpile grades 0.88 g/t Au and 0.94% Cu.
The New Afton mine and mill are located 10 km west of Kamloops, on the site of Teck’s former Afton open pit copper mine and smelter. New Gold has spent approximately $765 million on the project. Over its currently estimated 12-year mine life, New Afton is expected to produce an average of 85,000 oz of gold and 75 million lb of copper annually at a total co-product cash cost is expected to be approximately $525/oz of gold and $1.15/lb of copper.
New Gold says the next target for exploration is the C zone, located below and to the side of the current New Afton reserve block. Successful drilling in the C zone could extend the project life beyond 12 years.
New Gold operates three other mines and has two development projects. See the latest corporate presentation at NewGold.com to learn more.