The Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel A Jinapor, MP, on Monday, 7th February 2022, imposed a fine of $6,000,000 on Maxam Ghana Limited.
Maxam is the company at the centre of the explosion that occurred at Appiatse, a town near Bogoso in the Western Region, which killed some 13 people and razed the entire community.
A Press Statement signed by the Minister explained that the $6,000,000 is made up of $1,000,000 fine and $5,000,000 which the company agreed with the Ministry, after extensive discussions, to pay to Government.
The fine comes after the report of the three-member 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 GHS600 to $10,000, 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 14 conditions to be met by the company before the restoration of their operating permit.
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 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 Minister said the 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 Appiatse tragic incident are being reviewed and will be applied and communicated in due course.
The statement explained 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.