The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources , Samuel Abu Jinapor has announced that Maxam Company Limited, the company that is in charge of the manufacture, storage and transportation of explosives for mining and other civil works, has been stopped from transporting explosives on public roads following the explosion that occurred at Appaiste near Bogoso in the Western Region.
The Minister issued the directive after investigation was conducted into the fatal explosion.
The company has been slapped with a fine of 6million dollars following the explosion.
A statement issued by the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Kinapor on Tuesday February 8 said “Following the incident, the Minerals Commission, the regulator of the mining industry, conducted its investigations, in accordance with the Minerals and Mining (Explosives) Regulations, 2012 (L. I. 2177), and submitted its report to me. Given the complexity of the matter, I constituted a three-member Committee, chaired by a highly reputable former Chief Executive Officer of the Minerals Commission, Mr. Benjamin Aryee, to carry out independent investigations to corroborate, or otherwise, the findings of the Minerals Commission.
“On Tuesday, February 1, 2022, the three-member Committee submitted its report. Upon a review of the two repo., the Ministry has established regulatory breaches on the part of Maxam Ghana Limited (hereinafter referred to as “Maxam”), in respect of the manufacture, storage and transportation of explosives for mining and other civil works. These breaches, per L.I. 2177, attract fines ranging from six hundred cedis (GI-1000.00) to ten thousand United States dollars (US$10,000).
“Nonetheless, having regard to the nature and totality of the circumstances leading to this tragic incident, I, as the Minister responsible for Lands and Natural Resources, and, therefore, the overseer of activities in the sector, have imposed an administrative fine of the cedi equivalent of one million United States dollars (US$1,000,000.00), at the prevailing commercial rate, on Maxam.
“In addition to the fine, it has been agreed, after extensive discussions with Maxam, that the company will pay to the Government, the cedi equivalent of five million United States dollars (US$5,000,000.00) also at the prevailing commercial rate. For the avoidance of doubt, the total amount payable by Maxam to the Government stands at six million United States dollars (US$6,000,000.00) or its tech equivalent at the prevailing commercial rate.
“Maxam shall pay the fine of one million United States dollars (US$1,000,000.00) or its cedi equivalent at the prevailing commercial rate before the restoration of its permit to manufacture, store, supply and/or transport explosives. Given the demonstrable cash inflows of Maxam and their current circumstances, the remaining five million United States dollars (US$5,000,000.00) shall be paid in eighteen (18) equal monthly instalments, beginning from 1. March, 2022 to 1. August, 2023.”
Maxam shall, therefore, pay to Government, on March, 2022 and on every first day of each month, until final payment, an amount of two hundred and seventy-seven thousand, seven hundred and seventy-seven United States dollars and seventy-eight cents(USD277,777.78) or its cedi equivalent at the prevailing commercial rate. The imposition of the line and agreed sum to be paid, is without prejudice to any criminal or civil liability Maxam may be subject to. Again, the Ministry has given Maxam a set of measures to comply with, as a condition precedent to the restoration of the permit of the company to manufactuier store, transport and/or supply explosives. These measures are:
“Maxam shall not transport explosives on a public road, unless notice of the transportation has been given to the Chief Inspector of Mines or the Regional Mines Inspector, at least, forty-eight (48) hours before the schedule. time for transportation, to enable the requisite inspection and certification to be cam. Out before the transportation of the explosives’. to a mine or quarry site. 2. An Inspector of Mines/Explosives shall be present, inspect, verify and record in the designated explosives log book for transpiration, that all the requisite safety requirement., rules and protocols have been net before explosives are transport. from the operational site of the company to a mine or quarry site. 3. An Inspector of Mines/Explosives shall physically inspect the explosives truck to ensure that the explosive truck is in good working condition, in accordance with the truck examination list, and that the truck driver has a professional drivers license to drive the vehicle before the loading of the explosives into the truck.
“All trucks used by the company in carting explosives shall have: a. A red flashing light clearly visible at least hundred (100) meters away; b. A klaxon or siren, hooter or automatically operate. bell; c. An automatic fire suppression system alongside the fire extinguishers.”
It is recalled that the Chief Executive Officer of Minerals Commission shutdown the operations of Maxam Company Limited on Saturday, January 22, 2022.
Following the explosion the sector Minister Samuel Abu Jinapor, directed the Chief Executive Officer of the Minerals Commission, with immediate effect, to suspend the registration of Maxam Company Limited with the Minerals Commission, thereby precluding the company from manufacture, transportation and/or supply of explosives for mining operations, pending the outcome of the investigations into this disaster.
“The Minister also, on 21st January 2022 directed the Chief Executive Officer of the Minerals Commission to interdict the Chief Inspector of Mines with immediate effect, pending the outcome of the ongoing investigations into the tragic event which took place at Apiate,” a statement said.
The Western Regional Manager of the Minerals Commission, Isaac Mwimbelle, accordingly, said “Based on the initial investigations that we are conducting, we find it prudent to evoke the law which states that if the inspector has any reason to believe some operation can result in further danger, then we should caused a cessation of same.
“We went to Maxam and asked them to stop work whiles we continue the investigations and make necessary recommendations to the CEO for onward submission to the Minister.
“We issued what we called prohibition notice which means they are not allowed to hold any activity on the site and they are to remove equipment from the site for their own safety”.