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Reclamation and Closure Planning

Planning for a mine’s closure begins at the design stage and continues through the mine’s life to ensure the physical and chemical stability of the waste material that will be left behind.

New Gold operations practice progressive rehabilitation of lands affected by its activity as soon as areas become available after operations cease. We also rehabilitate historic mining areas within our leases.

At Cerro San Pedro, we operate an in-house plant nursery that produces over 135,000 plants of various species. The nursery is the cornerstone of our reforestation and revegetation program, which employs people from several local communities. In the Cerro de San Pedro municipality, we are returning areas heavily deforested by logging activities to their former state, planting approximately 1,100 plants per hectare to offset land disturbed by mining.

Performance in 2013

In 2013, our sites implemented progressive rehabilitation and reclamation of almost 80 hectares of land. These included a wide range of reclamation activities such as seeding, replanting, subsidence work of mine shafts, and removal of contaminated material within and outside our properties.

Habitat Under Restoration across All SitesAt New Afton, despite recently opening, we have started researching the metrics that will be used at the end of mine life. This has included the innovative “Barcode for Life” project through the University of Guelph. New Gold is the first company to use this cutting-edge technology to set biodiversity-related closure targets based on species diversity. It has also included research into the effectiveness of various soil treatments to enable re-establishment of grassland species, including species of cultural significance to our First Nations partners.

At Cerro San Pedro, our reforestation objective is to cover nearly 373 hectares of land while the mine is in operation. As of 2013, nearly 60% of that target had been achieved. In 2013 we planted 83,665 plants on about 76 hectares.

Each of our mines has obtained regulatory approval for their closure rehabilitation plans, which are reviewed and updated regularly.

In Closing

In this, our sixth annual Sustainability Report, New Gold is again demonstrating our commitment to open reporting of our performance. At New Gold, we view transparency as essential for maintaining trust with our communities of interest, and to upholding our corporate reputation. Our annual performance targets provides us with the drive to improve our performance, and are based on feedback received from our communities of interest.

As in past years, we are dedicated to conforming to the most stringent international standards for responsible corporate behaviour. We are guided by the GRI reporting guidelines. In the future, we plan to continually improve the scope, depth and transparency of our reporting to meet the expectations of all of our communities of interest.

We invite you to send any questions and comments on this report to sustainability@newgold.com.