Madagascar Part 3 — Curtis & Verle

Ambatovy is the name of the nickel refinery complex about 10 km from the city of Tamatave. The site includes the plant site where the nickel is chemically refined, the operational camp where the rotational workers live and the management village where the families reside. The actual mine site 200 km in the mountains. The ore is slurried and comes from the mine by gravity via a braked, very large pipeline.

Clinton and Joan live in the management village. The village includes identical homes, an international school, a clinic, a gymnasium and a large saltwater swimming pool. Early swims were wonderful. Most homes are two bedrooms but there are some with four for larger families.

Clinton’s area of expertise is the power production and the acid production. He is the manager of a group of five superintendents and about 400 employees. For those interested in the details of the nickel mine and refinery, a discussion with Curtis will be enlightening. Suffice to say that five of the Fort Saskatchewan sites would easily fit in Ambatovy. A tour by car took one and one half hours.

The pictures include before and after of Clinton and Joan’s home.  With the expert assistance of a local gardener she has created this oasis of growth in four years — also with the help of downpour rain (equals humidity) and temperatures from 24 to 40C year-round. The resident pet is Francene, a box turtle. He or she consumes one head of lettuce a day.

The plant pictures include the plant, the operational camp, the management village and finally the city of Tamatave on the shore of the Indian Ocean.

See also Madagascar Part 2.

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