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New Afton Receives Trio of Safety Awards

New Gold’s New Afton Mine collected three trophies for its health and safety performance in 2023, after achieving a total reportable injury frequency rate of 0.76. 

“When we win an award like this, it’s a testament to the good work all of our folks do on site,” said Justin Clark, Health, Safety and Training Manager at New Afton Mine. “We are not afraid to talk about health and safety at work.” 

The mine won the Large Underground Mines Award and the Mine Safety Technology Award from the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation in April. The Large Underground Mines Award acknowledges mines with at least 240,000 worker hours with the lowest injury frequency rate – an award that New Afton has claimed 12 times in 14 years.  

The Mine Safety Technology Award celebrates innovative initiatives that improve health and safety. To reduce potential for injury, the mine installed jib arms to provide lift support during battery swaps for battery-electric underground equipment. This solution addressed ergonomic, tripping and other hazards, as well as improved efficiency and equipment care.   

New Afton was also awarded the John T. Ryan BC/Yukon trophy from the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum for the ninth time. The award recognizes the metal mine with the lowest injury frequency rate. Clark credits New Afton’s continued excellence in health and safety to the strong culture that encourages hazard identification and conversation.  

“Whenever we speak to employees, contractors, or visitors, we talk about having the Courage to Care for each other – this means speaking up when something doesn’t look right, and not only identifying hazards but correcting them,” stated Clark.  

Employees from New Afton Mine are pictured accepting an award with ministry representatives.

The mine recently introduced hazard identification targets for each crew, resulting in more than 140 hazards identified and addressed each month.  

“There’s no hierarchy when it comes to safety – if we see something wrong, we point it out, no matter who we are,” said Clark. “It’s safety first, period.”