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Expanding Our Automated Equipment Fleet 

In 2023, New Afton increased its fleet of automated scoops by 40%, adding two new Sandvik LH410 scoops to our mine equipment. This delivery preceded the opening of the new Integrated Operations Centre building, which increases New Afton’s capacity to house our expanding automation function on site. As well as scoops, new automation chairs and servers for our upcoming AutoMine fleet upgrade arrived. Automated scoop operators are undergoing training for this AutoMine Fleet upgrade in anticipation of this upgrade to come on-board in Spring 2024. 

Leading with innovation is a key component of New Gold’s value of Creativity.  Our adoption of automated equipment enables efficiency gains, as operators do not have to commute to and from underground to begin operating the equipment, and with the AutoMine functionality, operators can control more than one piece of equipment at a time. This remote surface automation removes employees from potential hazards within the underground mine environment, and ergonomic and industrial hygiene factors for operators are improved in a stable chair within a temperature-controlled environment.

As well, automation enables operation of the equipment in high-risk environments, enabling New Afton to mine areas we otherwise wouldn’t be able to. The new LH410s also produce less emissions and heat than the equipment previously used, decreasing overall emissions, diesel particulate matter and heat-related health risks for underground workers at the same time. 

For C-Zone, New Afton has plans for a mixed diesel and BEV fleet of automated equipment, both in scoops and rock breakers. We welcome the new equipment onto site and congratulate the Mining and Maintenance departments for all the work they are putting into expanding our automated capabilities.