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New mining boss is a familiar face

Raymond Threlkeld on old turf in taking over New Gold
Ray Threlkeld
Ray Threlkeld examines core at the Rainy River Gold Project in 2009.

The former boss of Rainy River Resources is back at the controls of the northwestern Ontario open-pit mine he helped steer into production five years ago.

Raymond Threlkeld has been appointed president and CEO of New Gold. He succeeds Hannes Portmann.

A May 9 company news release said Threlkeld brings extensive operating and leadership experience to the table, particularly his in-depth knowledge of the Rainy River Mine.

Threlkeld was the former president-CEO of Rainy River Resources and helped develop the deposit before it was sold to New Gold for $310 million in 2013.

He briefly served as New Gold’s COO between December 2016 and September 2017. 

Before that, Threlkeld was president-CEO of Western Goldfields when it merged with New Gold. The company said he'll continue to serve on the board of directors.

The Rainy River Mine is located 65 kilometres northwest of Fort Frances. It began processing ore last September and had its first gold pour in early October.

"Under Ray's leadership, New Gold will continue to focus on delivering steady, operational performance at Rainy River and enhancing our financial flexibility to execute on our capital priorities," said board chair Ian Pearce in a statement.

"I look forward to working with Ray as we continue to advance a disciplined approach to both productivity and value creation from our portfolio of long-life assets. We want to ensure that every dollar we generate is applied to the highest-returning opportunity – whether that is building our balance sheet strength or enhancing the ability of our assets to deliver strong and stable returns."

Besides the Rainy River Mine, New Gold runs the Mesquite Mine in California, the New Afton Mine in British Columbia, and the Cerro San Pedro operation in Mexico.

The company posted disappointing first-quarter results in April, mainly due to operational and mechanical problems at the Rainy River Mine’s processing mill, which led to significant downtime and higher operating expenses.