In September, we celebrated our three graduates of the 2022 Generation Gold program. Congratulations Festus Agyapong, Metallurgist, Fort Knox, Kwame Akomeah, Geotechnical Engineer – Projects, Bald Mountain, and David Levine, Specialist Geologist, Paracatu.
The Generation Gold program relaunched in 2018 with a refreshed approach that consists of two 18-month assignments at different Kinross mines, including a one-week ‘Foundation School’ at our corporate headquarters in Toronto.
This year’s graduates gained a variety of experiences working across our global operations over the last three years. Let’s learn more about each graduate and their accomplishments!
Festus grew up in the Sefwi-Wiawso region of Ghana and began his career as a junior metallurgist at Chirano in 2012 after earning a Bachelor of Science in Material Engineering and a Certificate in Metallurgical Engineering.
Festus became interested in the Generation Gold program and believed it would be an excellent opportunity to gain global experience working across a variety of climates and cultures.
He joined the program in 2019 working at Bald Mountain in Nevada as a Metallurgist. During this time, he was exposed to management of ounce production, the VCIC/CIC and cyanide plant optimizations, production reporting and worked throughout the Assay and Metallurgy Labs. After 18 months, Festus transferred to Fort Knox in Alaska where he had the opportunity to expand his skills and gain exposure to new methods of mine operations including working on one of the few cold weather heap leach facilities in the world and working on project-specific tasks including in-pit tailings and the Manh Choh project.
During his time in the program, Festus gained broad knowledge in his field, while learning the importance of health and safety and how our safety culture is interchangeable across our global operations.
Since graduating from the program, Festus has joined Fort Knox as a full-time Metallurgist where he is passionate about the responsibilities, leadership and challenges the site has to offer and is excited to share his knowledge and experience gained during his time in the Generation Gold program. Festus hopes to strengthen his leadership skills and one day become the General Manger of a mine.
Kwame grew up in Accra, Ghana where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Geological Engineering in 2014. He began his career at Kinross in 2013 working as an Industrial Engineering Intern at Chirano where he gained experience working in both open pit and underground mining operations.
In 2019, Kwame joined the Generation Gold program as a geotechnical engineer at our Fort Knox mine in Alaska where he supported the in-house setup of softwares for the structural data interpretation of Gil and assisted with unlocking future potential of the project.
Kwame transferred to Bald Mountain in 2020 where he worked on geotechnical stability evaluations including top pit highwall steepening and pit optimization projects. He also worked closely on geotechnical risk mitigation including inter-ramp compliance checks and was responsible for in-house setup of Bald Mountain’s geotechnical database.
During his time in the program, Kwame was able to learn how to bring Kinross’ core values to life, in particular, High Performance Culture, and the importance that cost savings and safety culture have on our Company and how to incorporate those values into his day-to-day life.
Since graduating from the program, Kwame is now a full-time Geotechnical Engineer at Bald Mountain who is assisting with in-house geotechnical evaluations that has resulted in the elimination of external contractors. Kwame hopes to continue building on his knowledge of mining operations and geotechnical data to one day become a Superintendent and to establish his own geotechnical consulting firm.
David was born in New Jersey, USA, and graduated from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor and Master’s of Science in Earth and Environmental Science. In 2016, David joined Kinross as a contract geologist on the Phase W Feasibility Study and later transferred to Fort Knox as an exploration geologist working on the Gilmore Feasibility Study.
David became passionate about joining the Generation Gold program to build on his experience as a geologist by working at an operating mine in Kinross’ portfolio.
David began his Generation Gold experience as a member of the resource geology team at Kupol. During this time, the pandemic struck and David was the only person on-site from his team during lockdowns where he became responsible for supporting operations with the day-to-day work of a full resource geology team. David overcame this challenging time along with being new to the country and new to underground mining and camp living by showing his co-workers he was ready to learn and taking on more responsibility in order to support his team and to help achieve strong results.
Later in 2020, David transferred to Paracatu as an exploration geologist on a small team where he was able to gain exposure to all areas of the drill program. He later moved over to the mine geology team where he worked daily in the pit and became an integral part of the team. During this time, David learned Portuguese, which helped him to build relationships and a mutual trust with his coworkers, helping to make their department as successful as it could be.
Through the program, David expanded his knowledge outside of exploration gaining an understanding of how mine operations work ranging from underground vs. open pit mines, short term vs. long-term mine planning and understanding the importance of teamwork across each department to help make an operation successful.
Davis is now a full-time Specialist Geologist at Paracatu and hopes to continue growing his career in geology to become an Exploration Director in the future.
Congratulations Festus, Kwame and David for being our 2022 Generation Gold Graduates! Make sure to check out photos from their time in the program below!