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Appiatse explosion: Maxam fined US$1 million

At least 900 persons have so far been displaced and 13 confirmed dead in the explosion at Appiatse in the Prestea Huni-Valley Municipality of the Western Region

The Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources has slapped a fine of US$1 million on Maxam Company Limited, the company at the centre of last month’s explosion at Appiatse in the Prestea Huni-Valley Municipality of the Western Region.

The fine is coming barely a week after the committee tasked to investigate the explosion submitted its report to the Lands and Natural Resources Minister Samuel Abu Jinapor.

The company has agreed to pay an additional US$5 million over a period of time to the government of Ghana.

At least 900 persons have so far been displaced and 13 confirmed dead, according to the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO).

A statement issued by the ministry on Tuesday (8 February) said the minister imposed the hefty fine due to the “nature and the totality of the circumstance leading to this tragic incident”.

Below is the full statement

Appiatse explosion: Maxam fined US$6 million by KM on Scribd

Minerals commission shuts down Maxam company

The Minerals Commission closed down Maxam Company Limited on Saturday (22 January) in connection with the explosion at Bogoso-Appiatse, a village 300 kilometers west of Accra.

The shutdown follows a directive by the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel A. Jinapor.

Isaac K Mwimbelle, the Western Regional manager of the Minerals Commission disclosed this during the closure of the company that it has become necessary for his outfit to take drastic measure to forestall future happenings.

He said the shutdown of the entity is to pave way for further investigations and mentioned that a final report will be forwarded to Accra for onward submission to the sector minister.

He added that the Minerals Commission has issued a prohibition notice to the company, barring them from undertaking any form of activity at the site.

“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 cause a cessation of same.

“We went to Maxam and asked them to stop work while we continue the investigations and make necessary recommendations to the CEO for onward submission to the minister,” Mwimbelle told the media.

He added: “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”.

To ensure that the directive is enforced, Mwimbelle stated that the commission has deployed two members of staff to stay at the site.

Police say a preliminary investigation has established that a truck filled with explosives for mining collided with a motorcycle, resulting in the explosion at Bogoso-Appiatse in the Western Region. Authorities say 500 buildings were destroyed in the explosion, displacing over 500 people.

At least 13 persons have so far been confirmed dead in the explosion, leaving hundreds of locals displaced, the police said. The explosives were being transported to the Chirano Gold Mine, run by Toronto-based Kinross (K.TO).

Fred Dzakpata

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