The company is targeting 40,000m to 50,000m of drilling in the second half of 2011 and the exploration program is expected to cost about $20m.

Drilling in the second half of 2011 will target both the company’s 100%-owned southern portion of the project and the 75%-owned northern portion, where Silver Quest Resources owns the remaining 25%.

The previous owner and operator of the project, Richfield Ventures, had targeted 30,000m of drilling for the full year 2011.

New Gold is targeting the completion of a preliminary economic assessment for the Blackwater Project by mid-2012.