Maxam Ghana Limited was fined $6 million by the Lands Minister, Samuel Abu Jinapor, for regulatory violations including the manufacture, storage, and transportation of explosives for mining and other civil works.
A three-member committee established up by the government to investigate the explosion at Apeatse in the Prestea Huni-Valley Municipality of the Western Region, which killed fourteen people and destroyed the whole town, discovered the breaches.
Maxam had violated regulatory processes, according to the committee’s assessment.
The amount is $1 million and a $5 million fine, or its cedi equivalent at the prevailing commercial rate, according to a press statement issued by the Minister, which the corporation decided to pay the government following extensive discussions with the Ministry.
Although the penalties for the said breaches, pursuant to L.I. 2177, ranges between GH₵600 to $10,000, Mr Jinapor imposed a hefty fine due to “the nature and the totality of the circumstance leading to this tragic incident.”
The Lands Minister has also set out 14 conditions to be met by the company before restoring their operating permit.
The measures include a ban on Ammonium Nitrate and Fuel Oil (ANFO) transportation 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 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 14 measures, according to the Minister, apply to all enterprises involved in the manufacture, supply, transportation, and use of explosives.
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Sanctions against Jocyderk Logistics Limited and Arthanns Enterprise and Transport Services, two organizations engaged in the terrible Apeatse incident, are also being assessed, according to the statement, and will be implemented and informed in due time.
According to the statement, the Ministry takes the necessary steps to ensure that mining and mine support services are carried out in a safe and healthy environment that poses no risk to people or property.
The Western Regional Inspector of Mines, in compliance with an order from the CEO of the Minerals Commission, shut down operations of Maxam Company Limited on Saturday 22nd January 2022, following the Minister’s directive for Lands and Natural Resources.