News Release

Kamloops mine achieves international energy standard

New Gold's New Afton mine near Kamloops started production in 2012.

New Afton gold mine to save enough energy to power more than 1,000 homes

KAMLOOPS — The New Afton underground gold mine in Kamloops has received international recognition for energy efficiency practices, in part due to Power Smart incentives from BC Hydro. The mine will save more than 11 gigawatt hours of energy this year, enough to power more than 1,000 homes.

The New Afton mine is the first in North America to achieve certification from the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) for the 50001 standard for energy management. The mine underwent an energy review and energy improvements that led to cost savings, operational improvements and safer working environments.

BC Hydro provided funding for energy use analysis, technology upgrades and a full-time on-site energy specialist focused on energy management. Approximately $1.2 million was invested to support energy efficiency upgrades, including Power Smart incentives of about $900,000.

The majority of the incentives paid for improvements such as a flotation blower control, saving 1.4 gigawatt hours of energy savings a year; and upcoming improvements to the mine's ventilation system expected to save the mine 7.7 gigawatt hours of energy a year.

The New Afton mine is owned by New Gold, and the mine commenced production in 2012. Assistance from BC Hydro and Natural Resources Canada helped the mining operation implement steps that earned them ISO 50001 certification.

The 10-year plan for BC Hydro rates introduced last fall, includes $1.6 billion for funding for Power Smart programs. BC Hydro currently spends about $65 million a year on industrial Power Smart programs each year.


Bill Bennett, Minister of Energy and Mines

“In our 10 Year Plan for BC Hydro we committed to providing customers with tools to manage their energy costs. Power Smart investments for large industrial power users ensure they can reduce their electricity bills and also allow BC Hydro to avoid new generation investments, which benefits all ratepayers in the long run.”

Terry Lake, MLA for Kamloops-North Thompson

“This international recognition is great news for New Afton mine and the City of Kamloops. New Gold and the New Afton mine are a perfect example of a company dedicated to responsible resource development in the most energy efficient way possible.”

Joanna Sofield, general manager of Customer Care and Power Smart, BC Hydro

“The New Afton mine has set a new standard for making energy management part of its culture and way of operating. Power Smart programs for BC Hydro’s industrial customers go a long way towards helping companies reduce operating costs by taking control of their energy use.”

Andrew Cooper, Energy Specialist, New Afton Mine

“New Afton is proud of our partnership with BC Hydro, and the results validate our commitment to social responsibility and sustainable mining.”


  • BC Hydro has the fourth lowest industrial rates in North America.
  • BC Hydro’s industrial customers use about one-third of all the electricity consumed in B.C. each year. Industry is responsible for 1,500 of the 4,460 gigawatt hours of electricity saved annually through Power Smart – about 34 per cent.
  • Power Smart’s industrial programs offer financial incentives to assist customers in incorporating energy efficient options, including:
    • Up to 100 per cent funding for an energy efficiency feasibility study into efficient alternatives, and
    • Capital incentives to cover as much as 75 per cent of the incremental costs for a customer to incorporate energy efficient recommendations into their projects.
  • Get more details about Power Smart industrial programs.


New Afton Mine energy specialist Andrew Cooper stands in front of a mill at the Kamloops-area facility.