Thursday, October 23, 2014

New Gold hires project GM

New Gold has hired a general manager for its Rainy River project, which is located in Richardson Township north of Barwick.
Grant Goddard, originally from Montreal, has almost 40 years of experience in mine operations, including the recent construction and start-up of a Cameco uranium mine in northern Saskatchewan.

“[He] will really be the one who is responsible for the operation, implementation of the plan, and making sure that the operation is a profitable and ongoing concern,” said Kyle Stanfield, New Gold’s director of environment and sustainability.
“It’s a key position for the project, the general manager, being responsible for all aspects of the mine,” Stanfield noted.
“He will be the person on the ground that everyone will be reporting to.”
Goddard soon will be moving to the district with his family but already has begun rotations at the project site.
“He’s also spending some time at the engineering office working with some of our engineering groups and getting more fully familiar with the project,” Stanfield said.
“Coming on new, there is a lot to learn and know about the project.”
“I am impressed with the capabilities, passion, and focus on success that everyone working on the project has,” Goddard had stated in a recent company newsletter that was mailed out to district households.
“That, combined with a foundation of sound values and a clear focus on effective teamwork, tells me we have all the ingredients for success at the Rainy River Project.”
Goddard added he looks forward to “being part of the Rainy River Project and its contributions to building on the success of all [of] our communities,.”
“Building the Rainy River operation will have its
challenges, but together we have an excellent opportunity to create an outstanding business and community success,” he noted.
With a general manager hired and drilling continuing at the site, Stanfield said the project remains on track.
“We are expecting the federal and provincial governments to release their review reports about the project in September/October,” he noted, updating the status of the Environmental Assessment (EA) process, which is key to the further development of the mine.
“Those review reports are going to tell the public what the governments’ opinion of the project is in terms of environment and human aspect, so it’s really their opinion based upon our environmental assessment,” Stanfield explained.
He added the company is expecting it to be a positive opinion.
Once the reviews are released, there will be a 30-day public consultation period federally and a five-week one provincially.
“Assuming the EA goes through its political process, which will be the next step after the consultation period which will occur this fall, then we would expect we will receive approval from the federal and provincial governments in January of next year,” Stanfield said.
“And then we will be looking at starting construction very quickly thereafter.”
Stanfield said the construction period remains the same at 20-24 months, with the mill commissioning expected to start in late 2016 or early 2017.
In the meantime, New Gold has a few hundred engineers, scientists, and technical people doing additional detailed engineering, as well as completing specification work for request for proposals.
“Those will be for all different aspects of the project, including steel for construction of site buildings [and] supply of equipment, including heavy earth works equipment and others,” Stanfield noted.
“That’s a very big focus for us right now.”
He added the company has made some key purchases of equipment for the mine already.
“There are some long lead time items, including some of the mill equipment for the processing plant that we already ordered earlier this year because if we didn’t order it, we wouldn’t have it in time for process start-up,” Stanfield remarked.
Construction of a communication tower also has been started at the project site, which will facilitate connectivity between the site offices and employees working in the field, as well as for IT infrastructure and connecting the local project offices to New Gold offices worldwide.
The company also is renovating its Emo office, located in the “Corner Closet” building on the highway in Emo.
“We’re kind of in a transition period,” Stanfield conceded, noting the staff currently is working out of a house on Birch Place.
“Essentially, we’ve taken over the whole building and we’ve expanded, so we’re adding more staff,” he said.
“The Emo office will be a base of operations for the administration side, so we did need to add some space there and renovate the office.
“We’re very excited about that,” Stanfield added, noting the upgrades are expected to be complete in a few weeks.
Once they are, New Gold plans to invite the public to an open house for coffee and cake.
In addition, the environmental staff have been transitioned to the site itself.
“They will no longer be based in Emo—they will be based at the project operation,” Stanfield said.
“And that’s really consistent with our plan that the environmental people will be at the site full-time and working with the construction staff as we get ready for that.”
He noted having the team on-site will ensure that environmental and monitoring programs remain an important focus throughout the entire process of the project.
“So things are going very well right now,” Stanfield stressed.
“We’ve got a lot of broad-based support now from the communities, but also across federal and provincial governments.”

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