The Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources has announced the interdiction of the Chief Inspector of Mines under the Minerals Commission of Ghana “pending the outcome of investigations into Thursday’s Apeatse explosion near Bogosu.
It has also directed the suspension of the registration of Maxam Company Limited, who were transporting the explosives to the Chirano Gold Mines before the accident. But some industry watchers are questioning the delinquency of the Ministry, the Minerals Commission and the Ministry of the Interior.
Thursday afternoon’s explosion resulted from a collision involving a Maxam Company vehicle transporting mining explosives to the Chirano Gold Mines, a motorcycle and a third vehicle near an electricity transformer in the town of Appiatse.
17 people have been confirmed dead, 59 others with various degrees of injury while the Apeatse town has been reduced into rubbles.
According to a statement issued Friday night, the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources Samuel A. Jinapor directed the interdiction of the Chief Mines Inspector because per Regulation 2 of the Minerals and Mining (Explosives) Regulations, 2012 (L. I. 2177), he is responsible supervision of the manufacture, storage, transportation and use of explosives for mining and mine support services.
With respect to Maxam Company, the statement explained that the suspension order will preclude them from the manufacture, transportation and/or supply of explosives for mining operations pending the outcome of investigations.
There have been some reactions questioning the delinquency and dereliction of responsibility of some state institutions. Mention is made of the Minister for the Interior Ambrose Dery who as far back as October 2017 asked the Maxam Company to “address all the shortfalls in its operations within eight weeks”.
The Minister noted then, that Maxam company was not meeting the regulation to secure their magazines as required, adding that “when you go into the yard it looks so disorganised that you cannot be sure that their security is up to speed…”
Despite that caution, the Ministry failed to carry through its caution to stop granting the company any further permits to handle explosives, a development some say has worked gradually towards Thursday’s deadly accident.
Some industry watchers a proper and secured packaging of the explosives in the van would have prevented the catastrophic detonation of the content in the manner it did, wiping out the township of Apeatse and the death of at least 17 people.
Others have also questioned the suspension of the Chief Mines Inspector leaving the real bosses at the Minerals Commission and the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources.
Some Facebook comments on the suspensions:
Kobina Akhenaton: Sounds like you’re investigating your own self, which is an insult to the intelligence of Ghanaians. Is the mining company untouchable?
* Kwamega Michael*: Nothing works in this country
Rezedd Nananom Karma: You people should also suspend the ministry that signed the contract with Maxam company with immediate effect.
Barima Osei Tutu: What about the interior minister?Share on: