New Gold gets green light for $1.8B Blackwater project in BC

New Gold Inc. (TSE: NGD) has received federal environmental approval for its 100% owned C$1.8B Blackwater gold project proposal in British Columbia, Canada.

The Minister of Environment and Climate Change announced that the proposed project can proceed following an environmental assessment process that concluded the project is not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects when mitigation measures are taken into account.

The approval comes with 172 conditions New Gold must meet during the mine's construction and operation to reduce or eliminate potential environmental harm.

The proposal is for an open-pit gold and silver mine located 110 kilometres southwest of Vanderhoof. Currently in the exploration phase, Blackwater has 8.2 million ounces of gold in proven and probable mineral reserve, and 60.8 million ounces silver. In the Measured and Indicated category, Blackwater holds 1.4 million ounces gold and 8.7 million ounces silver in reserve.

As proposed, the Blackwater gold project would produce 60,000 tonnes per day of gold and silver ore, over a mine life of 17 years. The project could create up to 1,500 jobs during construction and 495 during operations, according to New Gold’s figures.

Next, New Gold can proceed with obtaining any additional authorizations and permits from federal departments.

The company also announced on Tuesday that hold its annual shareholder's meeting on Wednesday, April 24, and will release its first quarter 2019 financial results before market close on Thursday, April 25.

Investors had mixed reactions to the news — New Gold ended the day down 4.2%, trading at C$1.13 on the TSX. The company has a C$654 million market capitalization.

The broader gold market was also weak on Tuesday, with the spot gold price dropping to a 2019 low.