Message from the President and CEO
I am pleased to present New Gold’s sixth annual Sustainability Report, which I hope again demonstrates our responsibility to our many communities of interest in every country where we operate.
New Gold made remarkable progress in 2013, despite the serious challenges that beset our industry. No matter what economic factors face us, we understand that we will always be measured by our actions. We are responsible for protecting our people and our environment, and for supporting the social and economic welfare of our host communities.
We remain committed to the United Nations Global Compact’s principles on human rights, labour standards, the environment and anti-corruption.
Our people are our greatest asset and the core of our success. In 2013, the safety performance at our operations was exemplary. I believe that this was due to the company-wide implementation of our Health and Safety Management System. The system is based on training and design initiatives that focus on accident prevention, rather than the common focus on analyzing incidents after they occur. Our Lost-Time Injury Frequency Rate was approximately 90% lower than the mining industry averages in the jurisdictions where we operate.
The values-based leadership training program that we initiated in 2012 was designed to develop principled leaders and decision-makers at various supervisory and management levels. This year, it is being expanded to target the training of future leaders and potential successors for management positions, so that the Company is agile and prepared for change.
This year’s major achievement was the development of Community Engagement and Development Management Standards, which clearly define the requirements for community outreach and community development. As of the end of the year, our operations were more than halfway into the implementation of the new standards’ components. I expect it will be fully implemented in 2014.
Last year was the New Afton Mine’s first full year in operation, thanks in part to our Participation Agreement with the Tk’emlúps and Skeetchestn Bands. In addition to direct royalty payments received from New Gold, the bands received their first royalties from the BC government (representing a portion of the mining taxes that we pay to the province). Currently, we are working on continuing to expand on the scope and the scale of opportunities for local First Nations businesses at New Afton.
At our Cerro San Pedro Mine, we significantly improved our community consultation processes to engage a broader spectrum of the population. We want to guide our investments and actions, and work towards a strong, diversified local economy after the eventual closure of the mine.
Caring for Our Environment
There were no major environmental incidents at any New Gold operation in 2013.
In 2013, we developed and began to implement our New Gold Environmental Management Standards, which adopt the most relevant elements from several international standards. At each operation, the new standards are being used to guide a site-specific Environmental Management System (EMS). By the end of 2013, New Gold operations were 80% through implementing the New Gold EMS elements. Full implementation of the New Gold Environmental Management Standards is expected by the end of 2014.
The Mesquite Mine was certified under the International Cyanide Management Code in 2012. We are in the final phases of certifying Peak Mines and Cerro San Pedro, the last two of our cyanide-using mines. Final certification requirements are expected to be met in 2014.
2013 was a year of great strides in developing our corporate culture of safety, respect and responsibility, with the new standards for environmental management and community engagement and development, and remarkable safety performance. Everyone, at every operation, has contributed to these efforts, and I extend my gratitude to the people of New Gold. I look forward to continually improving our policies, procedures and performance in the years to come.
President and CEO,
New Gold Inc.