New Gold Blackwater Project: provides answers to community questions

In response to information sessions held in various communities including For St. James, New Gold continues to address questions.

  • Mar. 30, 2016 7:00 a.m.

Barbara Latkowski

Caledonia Courier

In response to information sessions held in various communities including For St. James, New Gold continues to address questions surrounding the proposed Blackwater Project.

A New Gold Blackwater Information Session was held at the Fort St. James Community Centre on Feb. 10.

Community members were encouraged to take part in the public comment period, view the information boards and ask any questions regarding the project.

New Gold’s Blackwater Project is a proposed open pit gold and silver mine with a seventeen-year mine life.

It will be located 110 kilometres southwest of Vanderhoof, B.C.

According to New Gold, the mine will support local communities with increased job and community economic development opportunities.

The Blackwater Gold Project is currently undergoing a coordinated provincial and federal assessment.

Some key questions from the information sessions:

What kind of job opportunities will the project provide?

A wide variety of trade, administrative, management and operational jobs will be available. New Gold has developed a “Careers at New Gold’s Blackwater Project” booklet which provides information on the number and types of jobs that will be made available.

The booklet is available at the Vanderhoof Project Office located at, 139-1st Street East, Vanderhoof, B.C.

Approximately 1,200 – 1,500 workers are expected to be hired to operate the mine.

New Gold says that it is committed to local hiring and contracting and will create indirect economic benefits for support industries in the region.

Will the Project affect local water quality?

The Blackwater Gold Project has been designed to meet high environmental standards and regulatory requirements. The protection of water quality throughout the life of the project is a priority.

According to New Gold, the mine has been designed to avoid discharge to surface water during operations. Water will only be discharged during closure.

Is the Blackwater tailings dam safe?

New Gold safely operates four mines with Tailings Storage Facilities (TSFs) around the world and the same level of commitment will be applied to the Blackwater Gold Project TSF.

A comprehensive Tailings Alternatives Assessment was completed including an environmental assessment working group consisting of representatives from local governments, First Nations, health authorities and provincial employees from various ministries.

According to New Gold, careful water management has been cited as a key factor in tailings safety. The Blackwater Gold Project is designed to use the best available technology and best practises regarding water management.

New Gold says that the water management system is robust and will allow for flexibility in water management even in the event of extreme wet or dry conditions.

Has the transmission line alignment changed since it was originally proposed?

Early on, New Gold consulted with land owners and tenure holders along the transmission line corridor to identify potential issues.

New Gold modified the route based on feedback received they have designed the alignment of the transmission line to follow existing roads and clear-cuts to minimize new disturbances.

New Gold says that the transmission line will be removed and the corridor reclaimed as part of the mine closure.

Will the project impact fish or moose?

The Blackwater Gold Project is being designed and located to protect sensitive environmental values related to fish and fish habitat.

The project is located outside the Blackwater River Watershed and will not cross rivers or lakes.

New Gold is also implementing measures to avoid unwanted effects to moose such as: locating the transmission line away from wetland areas, limiting noise and light and reducing predator access and efficiency by using vegetation as visual barriers.

To reduce animal mortality, New Gold will ensure speed limits are enforced on mine roads, access will be limited and hunting will be restricted. A Wildlife Management Plan will be developed to ensure these measures are in place.

For anyone who has more questions concerning the project, visit: or e-mail,