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Located 110 km southwest of Vanderhoof on the northern flanks of Mt. Davidson, New Gold’s Blackwater Project is home to this exciting exploration project and a temporary home to employees working at the site. Employees are transported to and from the project site via company shuttles, which depart from pick-up points in Quesnel, Prince George and Vanderhoof.
Blackwater’s remote site offers various amenities for New Gold employees to enjoy during their off-hours from shift. The camp is equipped with a recreation room, complete with billiards, poker table, ping pong and darts, along with various board games and books. Shared TV rooms and a fully equipped gym ensure that employees maintain their work/life balance, even while away from home. The camp’s hospitable kitchen staff serve nutritious and wholesome meals three times daily, and snacks are stocked regularly for employees to enjoy between meals.
Employee dorm rooms offer a comfortable private space to relax at the end of the day, including personal TVs, WIFI access, cell service, lockable wardrobes, and air-conditioning and baseboard heaters. Laundry facilities are stocked with soap and detergent and are located in each dorm, as are shared washroom and shower facilities.
Hours of work and shift rotations vary by position but generally employees work 10 hours per day.
The Blackwater Project has hired more than 400 employees during the 2012 exploration phase. In 2012, over 28 percent of project employees were Aboriginal peoples and more than 66 percent came from the local region. More than 70 on-site contractors were from local companies. New Gold anticipates hiring an average of 1,000 workers (1,500 during peak times) during construction which is anticipated to commence in 2015 and about 500 full time workers to operate the mine, projected to open in 2017.
Vanderhoof is located in the geographical centre, the “heart,” of British Columbia, Canada, and is the closest town to the Blackwater site, as well as the home of the Blackwater Project Office. Vanderhoof is only 98 km from BC’s northern capital of Prince George. The town itself has a population of approximately 4,480 people and provides services and supplies to the surrounding region (additional 5,000 people). The largely resource-based economy has been founded upon the area’s main industries of forestry, agriculture and tourism.
Vanderhoof lies within the interior plateau of British Columbia. The terrain is dominated by gently rolling hills, pine and spruce forests and fertile agricultural lands. The town boasts much of what beautiful British Columbia is renowned for; fantastic scenery, friendly people and a plethora of activities for the outdoorsman. Offering small town charm, affordable housing and an abundance of recreational activities, Vanderhoof’s proximity to the Blackwater site provides for a timely commute on company transportation to and from camp.
Residents of the Vanderhoof area experience the full breadth of the four seasons throughout the course of the year, each with its own unique beauty and charm. Temperatures range from -13.9 Celsius in the winter months to a daytime average of 23.4 degrees Celsius in the mid-summer months. Precipitation amounts vary, with an annual average rainfall of 330mm and annual average snowfall of 165mm.
Vanderhoof is serviced by thirteen licensed day-care centres, five elementary schools, one of which offers French immersion, as well as a secondary school. Vanderhoof’s local College of New Caledonia campus offers diploma, trades and certificate programs as well as University transfer courses.
Vanderhoof’s health services are provided in large part by St. John’s Hospital, with services including emergency treatment, labour and delivery, minor general surgeries and x-ray and ultrasound. Local pharmacies, social workers, dental and health clinics, chiropractors, and massage therapists offer residents the convenience of nearby health amenities.
Recreation opportunities abound year-round for all ages, from hockey, curling, figure skating, skiing to badminton, volleyball, basketball, tennis, soccer, golf and biking. There are fitness centres, hiking and walking trails, a bowling alley and a riding arena. The Community Arts Council offers a variety of cultural and artistic events and activities and live theatre for all ages is a big hit.
For information on Vanderhoof and the surrounding region please see www.vanderhoof.ca/.