As with any mining activity, New Gold’s operations generate process wastes. Process waste includes rock not containing ore, which must be removed and disposed in a safe manner in order to access the mineralized ore. It also includes the remnant leach piles that are left after metals have been extracted, or the tailings that are left after the gold and copper mineral has been extracted.
Recycling of non-process waste is an essential part of good environmental management, and is practiced at all New Gold sites. Typically, recycled materials include used oils and lubricants, tires, scrap metal, plastics, aluminum, cardboard, wood materials and batteries. At Mesquite, we expect to reuse the leach pad materials once the mine is closed as these will be used as cover material by the nearby Los Angeles County Sanitation District.
Non-Process Waste Recycled
|Paper, Plastic, Metals and Other (tonnes)||483.0||686.7||599.6||752.4||1,259.1||1,706.0|
|Oil and Lubricants (000s litres)||245.8||563.1||654.2||527.2||624.8||696.9|
|Tires (tonnes)||Not reported||Not reported||Not reported||Not reported||512.9||692.0|
|Waste Rock (000s tonnes)1||14,517||40,408||52,570||51,266||46,673||47,715|
|Leach Piles – ready for reclamation (tonnes)||–||–||–||–||–||–|
|Tailings (000s tonnes)2||769||794||747||734||2,665||4,736|
Regarding process waste, we continue to produce waste rock at all operations and tailings at Peak and New Afton. None of our operating leach piles – which are present at Cerro San Pedro and Mesquite Mines – are considered currently ready for reclamation. A clear increase in the generation of tailings in 2013 is due to this being the first full year of operations and at New Afton.