Rainy River is a gold project located approximately 50 kilometres northwest of Fort Frances, a town of approximately 8,000 people, in northwestern Ontario, Canada. The project property is located near infrastructure and is comprised of approximately 192 square kilometres of freehold and leasehold patented surface rights and mining rights, properties and unpatented mining claims.
Rainy River enhances New Gold’s growth pipeline through its significant production scale at below current industry average costs and exciting longer-term exploration potential in a great mining jurisdiction. Rainy River alone is expected to produce an average of 325,000 ounces of gold annually, which will more than offset the decrease in production and cash flow arising from the transition of Cerro San Pedro to residual leaching.
All of the key structural components of the process facilities have been completed and the setting of mechanical equipment and installation of piping, electrical and instrumentation services is well advanced. New Gold plans to complete the testing of the various components of the process facility using a staged approach, after which we will complete dry and wet commissioning of the full process circuit.
The primary crusher and conveyor system are 80% complete and commissioning of the crusher is scheduled to commence in March of 2017. Thereafter, the commissioning of the ball and SAG mills should start during the second quarter. Finally, the refining portion of the circuit should be completed and ready to begin commissioning early in the third quarter. Dry and wet commissioning of the full process circuit is scheduled to take place in August, which should leave approximately one month before targeted first production for any required adjustments to the circuit.
Based on the mine plan, the company will begin to stockpile a small amount of low grade ore in the first half of 2017, which will be used during the commissioning of the mill. At the time of the targeted September mill start-up, New Gold expects to have approximately 0.5 million tonnes of ore stockpiled, which is equivalent to approximately 20 days of mill feed at the design capacity of 21,000 tonnes per day.