New Gold has reached commercial production at its open-pit Rainy River gold mine two weeks ahead of schedule.
"Achieving commercial production is a major milestone for New Gold and the Rainy River team," said Hannes Portmann, New Gold’s president and CEO, in a news release.
"With the hard work, dedication and commitment of our workforce, and the strong support of our local communities and Indigenous partners, we are now focused on continuing to successfully ramp up the operation through the balance of the year."
Rainy River Mine began processing ore as scheduled on Sept. 14, and announced its first gold pour on Oct. 6.
In the first 30 days of operation, Rainy River has successfully processed approximately 457,000 tonnes of ore. Inclusive of four days of intentional downtime as part of the commissioning plan, the processing rate averaged 15,200 tonnes per day, or 72 per cent of the 21,000 tonnes-per-day nameplate capacity. New Gold defines commercial production as exceeding 60 per cent of nameplate capacity over a 30-day period.
For the period Oct. 1-18, the processing rate averaged 19,000 tonnes per day, or 90 per cent of nameplate capacity. To date, both grade and recoveries have also been consistent with New Gold's commissioning plan.
Rainy River Mine is located 65 kilometres northwest of Fort Frances and is 100 per cent owned by New Gold.
It has a resource report of 3.8 million ounces gold and 9.4 million ounces silver in reserves, and 2.6 million ounces gold, and 9.3 million ounces in silver in resources.