Tina Lewis Rowe

Insights, Information & Inspiration

Inspired Work At The Oyu Tolgoi Mine


 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!*

Neat, huh?

*©CAML (An impressive Human Resources company.)

January 5th, 2012 Posted by | Life and Work | 10 comments


  1. This is very interesting! I just now spent an hour looking up things about Mongolia. Wish it was close enough to visit!

    Comment by denisek | January 6, 2012

  2. That mine is in the Gobi desert which I flew over once and I remember thinking it would never end. That part of the world is so remote and isolated it’s like another planet and from what I gathered they wanted it to stay that way. I guess three billion dollars could change a government’s mind. I think it’s great that a resource like that has been discovered but I hope the Chinese don’t decide they have the rights to it.

    Comment by W.T. | January 6, 2012

  3. Hello Ms. Rowe,
    I will send you an email to ask for church security information. I also wanted to tell you that I have thoroughly enjoyed looking over your website, especially this post and poem. I like to do research and I can tell by looking at your site that you do too. God bless you and your work.

    Comment by Rev. M. | January 6, 2012

  4. Another interesting article Tina. Happy New Year and keep’em coming.

    Comment by notadonutfan | January 6, 2012

  5. I sent this to some people I know who are involved with coal and uranium mining in Wyoming. The video was enlightening.

    I think I’ll have the people where I work write a poem so you can print it. Maybe not, knowing what they might write.

    Comment by wiseacre | January 6, 2012

  6. Maybe we can deport a few thousand of our copper thieves to work in the mines.

    Comment by Roger | January 8, 2012

  7. Hello Tina, I hope you’re doing well after the holidays. I see you’re still finding odd and unusual information. When I grow up I want to be like you. 🙂 Seriously, thanks for your work. I hope this year is a great one for you. P.H.

    Comment by P.A.H. | January 8, 2012

  8. Very interesting article and I like reading the comments. Also, I appreciated your answer to me from the Ask the Workplace Doctors question and answer site and I’ve been much happier since I stopped worrying about the one employee all the time. I noticed right away that I felt more like coming to work than I used to. My boss even commented on how he wished everyone was like me. So, thanks a lot and thanks for everything.

    Comment by G.O. | January 13, 2012

  9. […] know that some of my readers have interest in Mongolia, too, so I pass on to you this link. It’s not long and I highly recommend that you read it, especially the poem at the end. Oh, […]

    Pingback by Stirrings in Mongolia | February 10, 2012

  10. Loved this poem! Especially for the spirit that comes out of it. One can sense the love and loyalty of the people from Mongolia toward their country and more specific to their company. This spirit of loving our daily task is not present in the lives of many in the western world. It makes me feel thanful for what I have today. Thank you so much for sharing this article.

    Comment by Oscar Jimenez | February 11, 2012

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