MAXAM Ghana Limited has been fined $6 million for the Appiatse explosion.
Following investigations into the explosion that happened at Appiatse near Bogos in the Western Region, Maxam Business Limited, a company that is in charge of the manufacturing, storage, and transportation of explosives for mining and other civil activities, has been fined $6 million.
“Following the event, the Minerals Commission, the mining industry’s regulator, completed its investigations, in compliance with the Minerals and Mining (Explosives) Regulations, 2012 (L. I. 2177), and presented its report to me,” said Samuel Abu Kinapor, Minister of Lands and Natural Resources. Given the complexities of the situation, I formed a three-member Committee, led by Mr. Benjamin Aryee, a very respectable former Chief Executive Officer of the Minerals Commission, to conduct independent investigations to confirm or refute the Minerals Commission’s conclusions.
“The three-member Committee issued its findings on Tuesday, February 1, 2022. The Ministry has discovered regulatory violations on the part of Maxam Ghana Limited (hereinafter referred to as “Maxam”) in the fabrication, storage, and transportation of explosives for mining and other civil activities after reviewing the two reports. Fines range from six hundred cedis (GI-1000.00) to ten thousand United States dollars (US$10,000) for certain violations, according to L.I. 2177.
“However, in light of the nature and totality of the circumstances that led to this tragic incident, I, as the Minister responsible for Lands and Natural Resources, and thus the sector’s overseer, have imposed an administrative fine on Maxam in the amount of one million United States dollars (US$1,000,000.00) at the current commercial rate.”
“In addition to the penalties, after long talks with Maxam, it has been decided that the corporation would pay the Government the cedi equivalent of five million United States dollars (US$5,000,000.00) at the current commercial rate. For the avoidance of doubt, Maxam owes the Government a total of six million US dollars (US$6,000,000.00) in cash or its technical equivalent at the current commercial rate.
“Before its permit to manufacture, store, supply, and/or transport explosives is restored, Maxam must pay a fine of one million United States dollars (US$1,000,000.00) or its cedi equivalent at the prevailing commercial rate.” The remaining five million United States dollars (US$5,000,000.00) will be paid in eighteen (18) equal monthly instalments, commencing March 1, 2022, and ending August 1, 2023, based on Maxam’s demonstrated cash inflows and existing conditions.”
On Saturday, January 22, 2022, the Chief Executive Officer of the Minerals Commission shut down the activities of Maxam Company Limited.
Following the explosion, sector Minister Samuel Abu Jinapor directed the Minerals Commission’s Chief Executive Officer to suspend Maxam Company Limited’s registration with the commission with immediate effect, preventing the company from manufacturing, transporting, and/or supplying explosives for mining operations, pending the outcome of the investigation into the disaster.
“The Minister also instructed the Chief Executive Officer of the Minerals Commission to interdict the Chief Inspector of Mines with immediate effect, pending the conclusion of the continuing investigations into the unfortunate occurrence that occurred at Apiate,” according to the statement.
Accordingly, the Minerals Commission’s Western Regional Manager, Isaac Mwimbelle, said, “Based on the preliminary investigations that we are conducting, we believe it prudent to invoke the law that states that if the inspector has any reason to believe that some operation can result in further danger, we should cause a cessation of same.”
“We went to Maxam and requested them to cease working while we complete our investigation and make required recommendations to the CEO for submission to the Minister,” says the spokesperson.
“We issued a prohibition notice, which means they are not permitted to conduct any activity on the property and must remove all equipment for their own safety.”