VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Sept. 17, 2012) - The Mining Association of British Columbia (MABC) and the Province of British Columbia, Ministry of Energy, Mines and Natural Gas, are pleased to announce that New Gold Inc.'s New Afton Mine is the recipient of the 2011 Mining and Sustainability Award.
"Congratulations to New Gold on their outstanding work in sustainable mining", stated Hon. Rich Coleman, Minister of Energy, Mines and Natural Gas. "It is fitting that we recognize them for their continuing work on reclamation, environmental protection and community engagement at the time they celebrate the commissioning of the mine at New Afton. B.C. is a recognized leader in environmental protection, successfully balancing resource development with a world-leading commitment to habitat protection and sustainability. Our government is proud to be committed to ensuring that B.C.'s mines are environmentally sound."
"This award is another endorsement of New Gold's high standards of sustainable development, community engagement and environmental responsibility, "said Minister of Environment, Terry Lake. "I applaud the Mining Association of British Columbia for their work to continuously promote responsible mining practices that generate valuable jobs for B.C. families while protecting our environment for generations to come."
"New Gold has achieved outstanding success in building the New Afton underground mine, a complex technological, environmental and social undertaking," said Karina Briño, President and CEO, Mining Association of BC. "The company has a dedicated commitment to health and safety principles, respect for Indigenous Peoples, good resource-use efficiency, continuous learning initiatives, partnership benefits and has strived to build an outstanding team."
New Afton Mine General Manager, Kurt Keskimaki, said it was an honour for the mine's sustainability practices to be recognized by MABC and the BC government. "Responsible mining is embedded in the culture of our organization and practiced every day by our employees," said Keskimaki. "To us, sustainability means leaving the land in better condition than when a project starts, and taking the opportunity to create new opportunities for its use. It is also means developing the skills and knowledge of our people, not only to ensure a safe, happy and productive workforce, but to set our employees up for long and successful careers."
The annual Mining and Sustainability Award provides an opportunity to publicly acknowledge companies, communities, First Nations, non-governmental organizations, government agencies and individuals who have demonstrated a strong commitment to leadership in sustainability.
This award is a joint initiative of the Mining Association of BC and the BC Ministry of Energy, Mines and Natural Gas, and was first issued in 2005.
The Mining Association also extends its congratulations to New Gold Inc. on the Official Opening of the New Afton Mine on September 17, 2012.
"The opening of this mine will help to create tremendous opportunities now and well into the future for British Columbians and their families in the Kamloops region," stated Karina Briño, President and CEO, MABC.
MABC represents companies involved in the exploration and development, mining and smelting of minerals, metals, coal and industrial minerals in British Columbia. It is regarded as the pre-eminent voice of mining in the province.