Lands Ministry fines Maxam Ghana Limited $6m for complicity in Appiatse explosion

The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Mr Samuel Abu Jinapor has imposed a fine of $6 million on Maxam Ghana Limited, the company at the centre of the Appiatse explosion.

The Appiatse explosion occurred on Thursday, January 20,2022 along Bawdie-Bogoso road in the Prestea Huni-Valley Municipality of the Western Region, which killed 14 people, injured more than 170 others, displaced over 400 people while the entire community was razed down.

The accident occurred when a truck conveying explosives allegedly collided with a motorcycle resulting in the explosion.

Preliminary investigations revealed that Maxam Ghana Limited contracted Joceyderk Logistics Limited, a logistics and transport company, to convey ammonium nitrate from Iduaprim depot to Chirano Gold Mines.

According to a press statement issued by the Lands Minister, the $6 million is made up of $1 million fine and $5 million, which the company agreed with the Ministry, after extensive discussions, to be paid to the government.

The statement said the fine was imposed after the Report of the three-member Committee constituted by the Minister to undertake independent investigations into the matter affirmed some regulatory breaches on the part of the company, in the manufacture, storage and transportation of explosives for mining and other civil works.

Although the penalties for the said breaches, pursuant to L.I. 2177, ranges between GH¢600.00 to $10,000), the statement said the Minister imposed the fine due to the nature and the totality of the circumstance leading to this tragic incident.

The Minister has also set out 14 conditions to be met by the company before the restoration of its operating permit.

The measures include a ban on the transportation of Ammonium Nitrate and Fuel Oil (ANFO) on a public road to a mine or civil work site unless expressly permitted by the Chief Inspector of Mines.

Explosives must be guarded by two escort vehicles, one in front and one at the back, both having sirens to warn people about the explosives.

The company is to notify the Chief Inspector of Mines of their intention to transport explosives 48 hours before the scheduled transportation, and mine inspectors are to inspect every transportation to ensure that all regulations and protocols are complied with.

The Minister said the 14 measures are to apply, fully, to all companies involved in the manufacture, supply, transportation, and use of explosives.

The statement also said sanctions against Jocyderk Logistics Limited and Arthanns Enterprise and Transport Services, two entities involved in the Appiatse tragic incident were being reviewed and will be applied and communicated in due course.

The statement explained that the Ministry was putting in place the necessary measures to ensure that mining and mine support services, are conducted in a safe and healthy environment that poses no danger to life and property.

Source: GNA

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.