We were waiting in a Newmont conference room on site at the Ahafo mine. On the agenda: a briefing from Newmont’s General Manager in Ahafo Jay Bastian. He’s going to try and tell us what it’s like to run a place like this. The pressure for profitable production amid the wildly unpredictability that is Africa.
It’s like a unknown, unmapped compound straight out the X Files. Newmont has built a community in the middle of Ghanaian nowhere for its western expat employees at Ahafo. A pristine suburbia with driveways, lawns, playgrounds, sidewalks, concrete curbs. Flower pots on porches. And a community center in the middle of it. The gathering place […]
When you go to fancy-pants MBA school, you learn a lot of fancy-pants terms. It’s nice at first to throw them around and sound smart. Kind of justifies the expense of the degree. But pretty soon you realize they aren’t that meaningful if (a) they really aren’t communicating anything other than you’re a snotty MBA […]
Many Newmont employees are required to wear jumpsuits. Makes them easier to spot by the mining vehicles, and a little easier for security. Apparently they’re a hot item. Counterfeit Newmont jumpsuits started popping up in the small towns around the Ahafo mine site. Newmont folks tell me they have yet to see them used in […]
Around Ahafo, 12-foot flag posts (like the kind you used to have on your bike only… well, taller) are attached to full sized, two-ton Chevy pick-ups so the haul trucks don’t run them over. Haul trucks, it should go without saying, always have the right away. You wait at intersections in the mine site for the “all-clear” […]
I went to Ghana thinking I was open-minded about people and different cultures. I mean, I’m from the center of the universe (Boulder, Colorado). I’m married to someone from India. I listen to jazz music. I use a Mac. I have stubble. I’m hip. I’m down. I figured one of the student outcomes of this […]