New Gold halts New Afton mine on tailings safety woes

Shares in New Gold (TSX: NGD) (NYSEAMERICAN: NGD) fell more than 9% in Toronto on Thursday after it said it had halted […]
New Afton mine in B.C. (Image courtesy of New Gold.)






Shares in New Gold (TSX: NGD) (NYSEAMERICAN: NGD) fell more than 9% in Toronto on Thursday after it said it had halted underground mining activities at its New Afton gold-copper mine in Kamloops, British Columbia, following an inspection.

The Canadian company said experts observed geotechnical variances at mine’s tailings storage facility during an inspection on Wednesday. It added the area will have to be further reviewed by the company's engineer.

As a result, New Gold said that it has suspended underground mining activities to allow for the review to take place.

Milling operations will continue as normal, using existing surface stockpiles while the review takes place, it said.

Shares in New Gold were down more than 9% to C$1.29 mid-morning in the Toronto Stock Exchange and 8.4% to US 96 cents in New York.

Tailing dams safety has been a focus of concern in the industry in recent years after several deadly accidents across the globe.

In Canada, the tailings dam at the Mount Polley copper and gold mine, also in BC, ruptured in 2014. More than 20 million cubic metres of waste water spilled into local waterways, which prompted operator company Imperial Metals (TSX: III) to suspend mine activities for almost a year.

In 2019, a second tailings dam breach at a Vale facility in Brazil killed 270 people and caused an environmental catastrophe.

Brazil’s environmental watchdog fined in 2022 now defunct Canadian precious metals miner Great Panther after a cyanide leak at the company’s tailings dam polluted local rivers and killed fish.



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