A Ghanaian metallurgist, Festus Bumangama Agyapong, made Ghana proud at this year’s “Generation Gold Programme” in Alaska, USA, which trains engineers in the extractive industry.
He was among three graduates who stood out in the programme which helps to build capacities in the processing of various metals and alloys.
The programme is dedicated to advancing employee development and leadership skills.
It allows employees to work through various activities that teach new capabilities, help them sharpen skills and broaden one’s knowledge.
Agyapong attended Mfantsipim School in Cape Coast in the Central region and later the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi, after his formative years in Sefwi Wiawso the regional capital of the Western North region.
He is the son of Katakyie Kwasi Bumagama II, Sefwi Wiawso Omanhene and a member of the Council of State.
He is currently with Fort Knox, a USA military installation in Kentucky which houses a large portion of the United States official gold reserves.
Agyapong 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.
He became interested in the Generation Gold Programme and believed it would be an excellent opportunity to gain global experience working across a variety of climates and cultures.
He joined the programme in 2019 working at Bald Mountain in Nevada as a Metallurgist.
The Generation Gold programme was 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 its corporate headquarters in Toronto.
This year’s graduates gained a variety of experiences working across its global operations over the last three years.
The Ghanaian metallurgist was exposed to the management of ounce production, cyanide plant optimisations, and production reporting and worked throughout the Assay and Metallurgy Labs.
After 18 months, Agyapong transferred to Fort Knox in Alaska where he had the opportunity to expand his skills.
He also gained 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.
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 programme, 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 Programme.
He told GraphicOnline that he hopes to strengthen his leadership skills and one day, become the General Manager of a mine.