Apiatse Disaster

Maxam Ghana Limited, the company which was transporting the explosives that caused the accident at Appiatse near Bogosu in the Western Region has been fined six million dollars for regulatory breaches including the manufacture, storage, and transportation of explosives for mining and other civil works.

This was contained in a statement issued by the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor, following a report by a Three-Member Committee, set up by the government to investigate the explosion which killed fourteen people and razed the entire community.

According to the statement, the company agreed to pay the fine after extensive discussions with the government.

Although the penalties for the said breaches, pursuant to L.I. 2177, ranges between six hundred Cedis to ten thousand dollars, Mr. Jinapor imposed a hefty fine due to “the nature and the totality of the circumstance leading to the tragic incident.”

The statement also set out 14 conditions precedent for the restoration of MAXAM operating permit, including a ban on Ammonium Nitrate and Fuel Oil, ANFO, transportation on a public road to a mine or civil worksite, unless expressly permitted by the Chief Inspector of Mines.  Also, explosives are to 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 its 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 apply fully to all companies involved in manufacturing, supply, transportation, and use of explosives.

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According to the statement, sanctions against Jocyderk Logistics Limited and Arthanns Enterprise and Transport Services, two entities involved in the Appiatse tragedy, are being reviewed and will be applied and communicated in due course.

It further explained that the Ministry has put the necessary measures in place to ensure that mining and mine support services are conducted in a safe and healthy environment that poses no danger to life and property.

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