Golden Opportunities + Peppermint

It’s 2007, and I am hitchhiking across Australia with my daughter, Makyziah, and we are finally leaving Perth, headed to the small coastal town of Esperance. I know nothing about this town—I just like the name of it and that we can experience the Antarctic Ocean there.

On the way, we stay a couple days in a town called Kalgoorlie. I quickly learn that everybody here is related to gold mining in some way, and that most of the miners are working at what’s called The Super Pit. At the half-stay, we make friends with Gordon, a man from Papa New Guinea, and he gives us all the details and even a tour of this Super Pit. Gordon confides to us that he hates working at the mine and thinks it is ‘not good,’ but doesn’t know a better way to provide for his large family. He travels and stays here for several months, works non-stop, goes back home to Papa New Guinea, then repeats the cycle all over again.

Gordon drives one of the four “shovels”— the gigantic equipment used to scoop up the earth, each of which cost ten million dollars and uses 4,000 liters of fuel per day to operate. The Super Pit is three kilometers long (1.8 miles), over one kilometer wide, 400 meters deep and growing by the second, as it is blasted 365 days of the year, both day and night.  Sixty tons of explosives are used to blow up an area so Gordon can take his “shovel” and scoop up 685 tons of dirt.

Find the rest of this Earth Devotions writing here.