New Gold is set to soon start ore extraction activities at New Afton’s B3 Zone in British Columbia, Canada, after receiving its Mines Act Permit from the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation.
The gold-copper mine has recently been focused on development of the B3 and C-Zones, which are likely to represent the major production sources over the next decade.
Current production is coming from the B1 and B2 Zones (Lift 1) where there are two panel caves (west and east) in operation. The B3 Cave is 160 m below and immediately to the west of Lift 1. Ore from B3 will be hauled by truck to the existing gyratory crusher, with production continuing until at least late 2024.
The C-Zone block cave zone is around 550 m below Lift 1. Development towards the C-zone is underway with production planned to commence with the first of 143 planned drawbells in the second half of 2023.
On the permit award, Renaud Adams, President & CEO of New Gold, said: “This is a significant milestone for the New Afton Mine. With the receipt of the B3 permit, ore extraction activities will begin this quarter and ramp-up over the year.
“C-Zone development continues to advance with C-Zone extraction expected to begin in the second half of 2023.”
The C-Zone permitting process was initiated during the March quarter of this year with the submission of the pre-application package to the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation, Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy and Indigenous groups.