Following the directive by the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Hon. Samuel A. Jinapor, the Western Regional Inspector of Mines has in accordance with an order from the CEO of Minerals Commission Mr. Martin Ayisi shut down operations of Maxam Company Limited on Saturday 22nd January, 2022.
Mr. 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 the Head Office of the Commission in 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.
“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, Mr. Isaac Mwimbelle stated that the Commission has deployed two members of staff to stay at the site.
Meanwhile, Minister for Lands and Natural Resources and Member of Parliament for Damongo Constituency, Hon. Samuel A. Jinapor, MP, on Friday, January 21, 2022, joined a government delegation led by the Vice President of the Republic, His Excellency Alhaji Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, to visit the Apiate community and commiserate with the victims of the Thursday explosion. The delegation included Ministers and Deputy Ministers of State, senior officers of the security services and officials of the Minerals Commission.
The explosion, which occurred around midday on Thursday, January 20, 2022, resulted from a collision between a truck belonging to Maxam Ghana Limited which was transporting explosives to a mining company, and a tricycle. The impact of the collision is said to have caused the explosives to detonate, causing the vehicle to explode. The situation was exacerbated by a nearby transformer which also exploded in the process.
The delegation also visited some of the injured in the hospital and the displaced families who are being housed in schools and churches. The Vice President disclosed that Government will be fully responsible for the medical expenses of all the injured persons.
The sector Minister, Mr. Jinapor, has assured that the investigations will be thorough, to determine the actual cause of the incident and its aftermath. He noted that the manufacture, storage, transportation and use of explosives, is governed by law, particularly the Minerals and Mining Act, 2006 (Act 703) and the Minerals and Mining (Explosives) Regulations, 2012 (L.I. 2177). Mr. Jinapor said any person found to have flouted these regulations will be made to face the law.
He assured that Government will implement all recommendations that will result from the investigations, to ensure that such incidents do not occur in future. The Minister also said the Ministry will hold meetings with all stakeholders, including mining companies, Ghana Chamber of Mines and mine support service companies, to discuss the entire regime of handling and use of explosives and other hazardous chemicals for mining, with a view of developing safe and healthy mining operations and support services in the country.