Nadleh Whut'en First Nation Nadleh Whut'en First Nation


Project Background

The following description of New Gold Inc.'s Blackwater Gold Project is based on the proposed

Project description as outlined in the Approved Application Information Requirements dated May

2014 and New Gold's Application for Environmental Assessment Certificate report.


The Project is a proposal to conduct gold and silver extraction from the Blackwater deposit

situated along the northern foothills of Mt. Davidson in the Nechako Plateau, approximately 110

kilometres southwest of Vanderhoof, B.C. or approximately 160 kilometres southwest of Prince

George, B.C. Exploration for the Project, in May 2012, involved drilling 449 holes for 160,000

metres, and identifying a gold and silver resource that is estimated to yield 507,000 ounces of gold

and 2,039,000 ounces of silver (annual average production) during the estimated 17 years of

operation. Extraction and recovery would be completed using whole ore leaching with cyanide as

the preferred method. Processing would occur in a mill to be constructed north of the open pit

mine. It is estimated that the mill would process 361 million tonnes (Mt) of ore, 735 Mt of waste

rock, and 99 Mt of overburden (1,195 Mt of total material.) The mine would also require a tailings

storage facility where supplementary fresh water requirements would be met by pumping in water

from Tatelkuz Lake and where tailings would be treated by a sulphur dioxide (SO2) / air treatment

plant. The proposed mine plan estimates that 1,200 to 1,500 workers would be required during

the construction period and up to 595 full time workers to operate the mine.


The Project mine site would occupy a surface area of approximately 3,300 hectares and is located

within a group of 69 mineral claims. The Project includes a proposed 133 km transmission line and

new and upgraded access roads that could directly affect streams and riparian zones in the area.

The transmission line passes through Nadleh Whut’en Territory. The

transmission line right of way (ROW) would be 40 metres wide on average. Furthermore, the mine

site is on top of, and on both sides of, the Nechako River, which flows down to, and along and

through Nadleh Whut’en Territory.


According to the Application, the following are the economic estimates of the construction and

operations phases.

During construction, as many as 1,500 workers may be at the work site at peak. The

on-site construction workforce would work 10-hour shifts, seven days a week. There would be an

on-site work camp with the capacity to accommodate 1,500 workers. Workers would be

transported to the site by air or by bus, to and from Vanderhoof.

Total spending on labour would amount to $420.8 million, with 70 per cent of the labour coming

from various locations in B.C. Project construction would directly involve purchasing goods and

services worth $998 million from various B.C. businesses. Overall, total purchases of construction

labour, goods, and services in B.C. would amount to $1,294 million; this represents 88 per cent of

total Project costs (excluding contingencies). The other 12 per cent, consisting largely of

mechanical equipment, structural steel, and some construction management, would be imported

from outside B.C.


During operations, on average, the mine would employ about 495 people annually. Of these, 72

per cent would be employed in mining operations, 21 per cent in processing, and 7 per cent in

G&A (general and administrative) positions. About 10 per cent would be mine managers and

superintendents. Operations would be year-round. The mine would operate on two 12-hour shifts,

seven days a week, 355 days per year. Two shifts of 120 workers each would be on site at any

given time. Workers would be bussed to and from the mine to Vanderhoof, and charter aircraft

would transport any non-regional workers back to designated locations in B.C. (e.g., Vancouver

and Kamloops).