Energy and Emissions Management

Our activities result in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, from the mobile equipment required to operate a mine to the off-site generated electric power that we purchase to supply our operations. Improving our energy efficiency and reducing GHG emissions not only reduces climate-related risks to the broader environment, it brings inherent cost advantages.

We continue working on implementation of the Towards Sustainable Mining (TSM) Energy and GHG Management protocol across all operations. Energy champions have been engaged to assess opportunities for savings and a number of projects are being implemented across New Gold sites. One of these efforts is an innovative energy management system implemented at New Afton in 2013, leading to ISO 50001 certification in 2014. New Afton is the first mine in Canada to achieve certification against this international standard. Results will be closely evaluated with the goal to extend the learning experiences to our other operations. The 2015 goal is to report to the Carbon Disclosure Project to the 70D level or greater.

All our sites continue to develop long- and short-term efficiency targets in an effort to improve energy savings over time. The focus in 2014 is to complete compilation of energy consumption baseline data, which includes improving our measurement capabilities, with a view to identifying and quantifying viable energy efficiencies to reduce wasted energy and consequently our carbon footprint.

Performance in 2014

In 2014, the total energy consumed across the Company was 3,409 terajoules (TJ). Most of the energy was provided by diesel, followed by purchased electricity. A small component was provided by propane and gasoline.

Across the organization, we reduced the consumption of propane (22%) and gasoline (16%). However, diesel, natural gas and electricity consumption increased by 3%, 49% and 31%, respectively. The slight increase in diesel consumption is due to the inclusion of Rainy River consumption data in the 2014 calculations, as all other sites actually reduced diesel consumption last year. Natural gas is only used for heating at New Afton and the increased consumption is due to larger areas being heated and conversion from propane heating to natural gas.

Across the organization, diesel is the most significant portion of New Gold energy consumption (62%), followed by electricity (35%). Propane, gasoline and natural gas represent a relatively small portion of the energy consumed in 2014 – about 3% in total.

The increase in electricity use was due mostly to expansion of leach pads at Cerro San Pedro, where electricity is used to pump solution to ore placed in leach pads; increased mill throughput at New Afton; and, to a lesser degree, the addition of Rainy River electricity consumption to the 2014 New Gold calculations. The Peak Mines increased electricity consumption by about 6% as a result of increasing depths of underground mining and the requirement to cool the air underground. The Mesquite Mine reduced electricity use by about 4% compared to 2013.

Fuel Consumption by Major Sources

Major Sources 2012 2013 2014
Diesel consumption (000s litres) 55,632 52,584 54,351
Gasoline consumption (000s litres) 1,050 809 678
Propane (000s litres) (includes LP) 1,452 1,304 1,019
Natural gas (000s litres) NR 1.26 2.67

Note: NR = Not Reported

Electricity Consumption

2012 2013 2014
Electricity purchased (MWhs) 204,427 251,118 329,9101

Estimated 197,503 MWhs hydroelectric power. Fuels consumed to produce electricity other than hydroelectricity include coal, fuel oil, natural gas, nuclear (Ontario), biomass and renewables as reported by electricity providers.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions – Operations Only

Emissions (000s of tonnes of CO2-e) 2012 2013 2014
Diesel 139.3 137.6 145.1
Gasoline 1.4 1.5 1.4
Propane 2.0 1.9 1.5
Natural gas1 n/a 2.7 3.9
Power 93.9 97.0 100.3
Explosives 2.6 2.5 3.0
Total 239.4 243.2 255.3

2013 was the first full year of operations at New Afton, the only New Gold site using this energy source.


Approximate values for total ore processed and ore to leach pads was 29.7 million in 2014, 32.7 million in 2013 and 33.8 million in 2012.

For the purposes of this report, carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2-e) emissions generated by mobile equipment (diesel and gasoline) and stationary equipment (natural gas and propane) were calculated using the World Resources Institute and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development Greenhouse Gas Protocol for Direct Emissions (Scope 1 Emissions), available at Emissions from fuel oil used in ammonium nitrate fuel oil explosives were calculated using the TSM Energy & GHG Emissions Management Reference Guide. In 2014, we reduced the use of gasoline and propane. However, we used more natural gas, diesel and electric power than in previous years. Because diesel is the most significant portion of New Gold energy consumption, the increased consumption of diesel has increased the GHG emissions per tonne of ore processed.

The CO2-e emissions generated indirectly from purchased energy are calculated using the Greenhouse Gas Protocol for Electricity Purchase (Scope 2 Emissions). The CO2-e emissions cited in this report may be different from those reported by specific sites, because each site’s respective disclosure is guided by regulations in the jurisdiction where the site is located.