Managing water as a resource is increasingly being recognized as a significant global challenge. This challenge intersects with other pertinent issues such as climate change, biodiversity loss, Indigenous rights, values and interests of the communities in which we operate and human rights. As an active member of the Mining Association of Canada, New Gold supports the Towards Sustainable Mining (TSM) Water Stewardship Policy Framework, and in 2023, our goal is to achieve a AAA rating for the TSM Water Stewardship Protocol. To support this AAA rating, New Gold is building a Company-wide Water Governance Framework to establish transparent governance to key water management activities such as water balance modelling, water risk assessment and mitigation, and water reporting.
Between 2021 and 2022, the Rainy River region experienced significant precipitation during the fall and spring which resulted in regional flooding throughout the area. The Rainy River Mine also experienced onsite flooding, which resulted in rapid mobilization of the operational teams to manage the flows. Through careful management, Rainy River Mine was able to manage the flooding event without any unauthorized discharges to the environment.
As a result of the increased precipitation, the Rainy River Mine accumulated additional water onsite. Throughout 2022, the operations teams took a coordinated and holistic approach to manage the water stored onsite. A key component of this approach was increasing the rate of water treatment, to increase treated discharge flows into the Pinewood River. Maximizing the treatment potential resulted in over three times the water treated in 2022 in comparison to 2021.