In a statement issued by the company on Tuesday, February 8, 2022, shortly after the minister communicated the imposition of the fine to the public, Maxam said, although the breaches found by the minister did not cause the incident, the company had decided to pay the fine and comply with the measures imposed by the minister.
The fine followed an explosion which occurred on Thursday January 20, 2022, when a truck carrying explosives from Maxam’s Iduapriem plant in Tarkwa to Chirano Gold Mines Ltd, was involved in an incident, leading to the death of 13 people and the destruction of the entire Appiatse community.
In a six-page Press Release issued on Tuesday February 8, 2022 to update the public on the incident, the Minister said after reviewing two reports of the incident submitted by the Minerals Commission and a three-member committee he constituted to conduct independent investigations into the matter, the Ministry established some regulatory breaches on the part of Maxam in respect of the manufacture, storage and transportation of explosives.
The Statement further stated that although the regulatory breaches attract fines ranging between Six Hundred Ghana Cedis (GHS600.00) and Ten Thousand United States Dollars (US$10,000.00), the Minster imposed the US$1,000,000.00 fine due to “the totality of the circumstances surrounding the tragic incident.”
In addition to the fine, Maxam has also agreed with the Government to pay an additional amount of Five Million United States Dollars (USD5,000,000.00) bringing the total amount payable by Maxam to Six Million United States Dollars (US$6,000,000.00). The Statement lists a set of ten conditions to be complied with by Maxam before the restoration of their licence to operate.
In a swift response shortly after the minster’s press release, Maxam said based on a different interpretation of the law, they did not believe they committed any regulatory breaches. However, to ensure the continuity of their business, and to be able to supply their customers and protect the employment of their workers, they will pay the fine imposed by the Minister.
The statement also said Maxam has agreed to pay the additional US$5,000,000.00 due to their commitment to Ghana and its welfare.
The company has also pledged to ensure full compliance with the new regulatory measures announced by the Minster to ensure that their operations are in accordance with the laws of Ghana and international best practices.
Source: Daily Mail GH