Ghana’s Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources has slapped a fine of $6 Million on Maxam Company Limited, the company at the centre of the deadly explosion at a community called Appiatse in the Western part of the country last month.
The committee that investigated the explosion submitted it report to the Lands and Natural Resources Minister Samuel Abu Jinapor.
At least 900 persons have so far been displaced with 13 deaths according to official figures from the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO).
According to a press statement issued by the Minister, the amount is made up of $1 million fine and $5 million, which the company agreed on with the Ministry, after extensive discussions, to pay to the government.
The statement said the fine was imposed after the 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 Six Hundred Ghana Cedis (GHS600.00) to Ten Thousand United States Dollars (USD10,000), the Statement said the Minister imposed the hefty fine due to the nature and the totality of the circumstance leading to this tragic incident.
The Minister has also set out fourteen (14) conditions to be met by the company before resuming work.
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.
Other measures include explosives being 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 its intention to transport explosives, forty-eight (48) hours before the scheduled transportation, and mine inspectors are to inspect are to inspect every transportation to ensure that all regulations and protocols are complied with.
The Minister said the fourteen 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 Appiate tragic incident, are being reviewed and will be applied and communicated in due course.
The statement assured that the Ministry is 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 or property.