2022 Was A Bad Year For Kinross Mining Company

In 2022 A Truck Blew Up On Its Way To A Ghana Mine... And Russia Attacked Ukraine  Kinross Ore Trucks Will Be Operated In Alaska By Black Go...

In 2022

A Truck Blew Up On Its Way To A Ghana Mine... And Russia Attacked Ukraine 

Kinross Ore Trucks Will Be Operated In Alaska By Black Gold Transport, LLC, Of North Pole.

Kinross is no novice to hard times. Two years ago, the Canadian gold mining company faced major setbacks around the world. 

In 2022, Kinross had to suddenly divest itself of gold mines in not one, but two different countries. The countries were Ghana and Russia. 

Blowing Up The Town In Ghana 

Alaska is just part of the mining company's portfolio. Kinross has mines all over the world:  in the U.S., in Africa, and in South America. 

One of the foreign mines owned by the Canadian company was reached by a truck route in Ghana, West Africa. 

In January 2022, a gold mining truck struck a motorcyclist in the small Ghanaian town of Apiate, which hemmed the road leading to Kinross’s Chirano Gold Mine.

The truck was carrying 10 tons of explosives. 
Like a giant bomb, the truck caught fire and exploded. 

The blast took the village with it, demolishing houses and tearing them to shreds, the roofs and walls crashing down on the vi
llagers. The African village of 10,000 people was left devastated, with up to 500 homes destroyed, people injured and maimed, people dead. Bodies littered the ground. A 60-foot wide crater was left at ground zero in the middle of the road. 

Aerial View Of Devastation From Mining Truck Explosion In Ghana (Wikipedia) 

There were calls, immediately -- in Ghana and internationally -- for Kinross to take the blame. It did not. 

Kinross said it was not at fault -- because that wasn't their truck. Said news reports:  

"Kinross Gold Corp. says it didn’t own or operate the truck involved in a deadly explosion.”

But Kinross did offer sympathy. A human rights group reported:

“the company extends its deepest condolences to all those affected by the tragic incident, adding it is providing support to the response efforts and relief items to those affected.”

The truck was operated by a contractor – a Spanish firm named Maxam, not by them, Kinross said. But then, Maxam said it wasn’t their fault either. Maxam said they too, had contractors and it was those contractors who were at fault. A Reuters story reported: 

"…Maxam said it had contracted a local company called Arthanns Logistics… The code violations were the fault of Arthanns, Maxam said."

The Spanish firm, Maxam, paid out $6 million. In April  2022, three months after the truck blew up in the middle of the Ghanaian town, Kinross announced it was selling its Chirano mine. The sale was completed four months later. 

Leaving Russia 

Kupol Gold Mine In Russia (Wikipedia) 

In February 2022,  international sanctions were slapped on Russia due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine. At the time, Kinross, which also mined for gold in Russia, was defiant. Kinross said it would not accept the sanctions. The company wrote on its website:

"Kinross has successfully operated in Russia for more than 25 years and has previously managed through similar situations while complying with applicable laws."

But soon after, Kinross  was forced to abandon its lucrative mine holdings in Russia.

This included Kinross's Kupol Mine, accessed by a 267-mile ice road in winter. The Kupol mine had once been a Siberian forced labor camp. In the early days of the Soviet Union, the mine was part of the infamous "Gulag," Thousands of political prisoners and convicts were sent there as severe punishment by Russia's heavy-handed dictators. 

By March 2022, Kinross gave up the fight. The Globe & Mail reported:

"Kinross Gold suspending Russian mining operations amid Ukraine invasion."

Two months later, in June 2022, Kinross sold out and left Russia. The company took a hard loss in the transaction, according to headlines on the web: 

"Kinross Gold sells off Russian mines but at half the agreed price."

Although 2022 had been a very bad year for Kinross elsewhere, Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy has welcomed the company's newest plans in Alaska. 

By August 29th, 2023, with an array of golden shovels and government officials,  Kinross  broke ground for a new open pit mine -- at Manh Choh, near a small Native village in Alaska, just over the border from Canada. 


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