Engaging with Our Host Communities

The New Gold Community Engagement and Development Standards guide us to identify our communities of interest, effectively engage and sustain dialogue, and report on performance. They also drive us to constantly improve our processes and performance.

We foster open, two-way communications with residents and community leaders, from a project’s earliest development phase, during the mine’s life and through closure. We believe that the social aspects of operations must be based on dialogue with the surrounding communities. It is important to thoroughly understand the local people and their needs and concerns, so that we can truly engage and contribute to long-term social, cultural and economic development.

Our people become involved at every level – with local and regional government, business, schools, healthcare and recreational organizations. We actively participate in community organizations, host community events and seek to address people’s priorities and apprehensions as they relate to our activities. We use a variety of engagement methods including community meetings and presentations, one-on-one meetings, household visits, letters and newsletters. Our New Gold sites hold open houses and/or provide site tours to a wide variety of educational institutions, regulators, investors and community groups.

Performance in 2014

This year’s major achievement was the full implementation of the Community Engagement and Development Standards.

In 2014, all New Gold sites hosted regular engagement activities, which allowed us to better understand our community impact and issues related to our activities. All of our sites maintained formal feedback mechanisms, with the exception of Rainy River, where a formal feedback mechanism is currently under development. In 2014 we received a total of 9 complaints, a significant decrease from 15 complaints received in 2013. All the complaints received through these mechanisms were addressed in the time frame stipulated by each site’s complaint management procedure.

Formalized External Feedback Process – Complaints Received

Sites 2012 2013 2014
New Afton1 n/a 3 2
Mesquite2 n/a
Peak3 4 3 4
Cerro San Pedro4 9 5 3
Blackwater5 n/a 4
Total 13 15 9
1

Formal feedback mechanism put in place in Q4 2012.

2

Formal feedback mechanism put in place in Q4 2012.

3

Formal feedback mechanism in place since mine commissioning.

4

Formal feedback mechanism put in place in Q4 2010.

5

Formal feedback mechanism put in place in Q4 2013. While we did not receive any complaint through the formal feedback mechanism in 2014, we have maintained ongoing engagement with a local guide outfitter as a result of overlapping tenures.

The issues identified most consistently through our engagement activities and our feedback mechanisms included: our contributions to the local economy, local training and employment, and concerns associated with noise and vibration. At every site, we consistently focus on maximizing our contributions to the local economy, and local training and employment. Concerns associated with noise and vibration have been addressed locally at our Peak, New Afton and Cerro San Pedro mines through open and transparent dialogue with communities, regulators and other government agencies as well as site tours and third-party studies presented to our neighbours and regulators.

Our employees also contributed in kind by volunteering hours of service to local communities. Over the year, our sites and employees have also contributed to various cultural and sports events, community clean-up activities and initiatives to encourage recycling and healthy lifestyles. At Blackwater, we were able to support firefighting efforts by providing helicopter and firefighting crews access to our operational base camp, which also allowed us to test our emergency response procedures, working closely alongside the government agencies.