April 17 (Reuters) - Canadian miner New Gold Inc said its New Afton gold and copper project in British Columbia is on track to begin milling in June and start commercial production in August.
The company had in February said it expects output from the New Afton mine to raise 2012 production.
New Gold has budgeted $5 million for exploration at New Afton in the second half of 2012 and said it expects the mine to produce 35,000 to 45,000 ounces of gold in 2012, beginning June.
The New Afton project is also expected to produce 30 million to 35 million pounds of copper this year.
It is expected to produce an average of 85,000 ounces of gold and 75 million points of copper every year over a 12-year mine life.
The company also said its continues to expand exploration at its Blackwater project, also in British Columbia, and will deploy four to six more drills in May.