In one of those odd events made possible only by the Internet, I learned about the Oyu Tolgoi mine. The mining company employee who corresponded with me for a time told me that the Oyu Tolgoi mine will have more of an impact on Mongolia than anything since Genghis Khan in 1206!
Mongolia is the world’s largest land-locked country and is mostly high altitude (about the altitude of Denver), has long, bitter cold winters and is dry in many areas. It has a population of close to three million people (population density of about 3 people per square mile). The people are still mostly nomadic, since they travel with the herds that are the primary sources of their incomes.
My correspondent told me, “My tribe raised reindeer, so tourists always wanted to get photos. To us, reindeer were for milk, meat, hides, antlers, hoofs and teeth, so we couldn’t figure out why tourists wanted photos. Sometimes they would give us more money for one photo than we would make in months of hard work.” (The average Mongolian lives on about $1.25 a day. )
Life for many is very challenging as it has been for thousands of years, but the Oyu Tolgoi copper mine has the potential to bring billions of dollars to the economy over time. My correspondent said, “It has already changed my life and the lives of many others, for the better. We are very grateful for it.”
You can see a five minute video about it on YouTube. Listen to the respect shown by the engineers for the Mongolian miners and employees. There is a poem written to express pride in being chosen by Central Asian Mining Logistics (CAML) to work in the mining industry as miners or in other jobs required to keep the mining operations going. I think the translation probably creates some odd phrases, so I smiled at it. However, I was a bit misty-eyed too because it is genuinely sweet! My correspondent said, “It’s all true!”
Proud Mongols’ dream fulfilled with joy
Youth that’s chosen to be employed
People of CAML at Oyu Tolgoi site
Strong and enthusiastic we show our might.
Before the shift we early morning rise
To hug the greeting golden sunrise
The work exhausts me but I smile
And clocks tick time filled with tasks worthwhile.
Divine, the fortune that gave this chance
To bear my employer’s logo on my chest
Great achievements are waiting to be built
On sunny days there, out in the field
Of beautiful, home-country’s youth I’m proud
The company’s objectives they’ll greatly fulfill
In each corner of the globe to have a branch embraced
I raise this Moon-mother’s milk and praise!*
*©CAML (An impressive Human Resources company.)