Maxam Ghana Limited, the company at the centre of the explosion that occurred at Apiate in the Prestea Huni-Valley Municipality of the Western Region, has been fined US$6 million.
The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel A Jinapor, imposed the fine.
A statement dated February 7, 2022, was signed by the Minister and made available to Graphic Online said the company must pay US$1 million before the restoration of its license while the remaining US$5 million should be paid in equal installments between March 1, 2022, and August 2023.
The statement said the fine was imposed 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.
The statement added that although the penalties for the said breaches, pursuant to L.I. 2177, ranged between $600 and $10,000, the minister imposed the hefty fine because of “the nature and the totality of the circumstance leading to this tragic incident.”
In addition, Mr Jinapor has set out 14 conditions to be met by the company before the restoration of their operating permit.
Key among the measures is 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.
The other measures are that explosives must be guarded by two escort vehicles, one in front and one at the back; with both vehicles having sirens to warn people about the explosives.
The company is also required to notify the Chief Inspector of Mines of their intention to transport explosives 48 hours before the scheduled transportation.
Also, the mine inspectors are to inspect every transportation schedule to ensure that all regulations and protocols were complied with.
The minister said the 14 measures were to apply fully to 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 Apiate tragic incident, were being reviewed and would be applied and communicated in due course.