Maxam Ghana Limited has reluctantly agreed to pay the fine of US$6million imposed on it by the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel A. Jinapor, for the explosion that wrecked Appiatse, a town in the Western Region.
In a statement on Tuesday, 8 February 2022, Maxam said the breaches found by the minister did not cause the accident.
However, the company would pay the fine and comply with the measures imposed by the minister.
Over 179 others were injured, with more than 500 homes destroyed after the explosion, which occurred on Thursday, 20 January 2022.
Investigations by the police indicated that a mining explosive vehicle moving from Tarkwa to Chirano Gold Mines collided with a motorcycle resulting in the explosion in the farming community between Bogoso and Bawdie.
The Minerals Commission subsequently shut down Maxam Ghana Limited, owners of the explosive truck, to pave the way for investigations into the accident.
In a swift response shortly after the minister’s press release announcing the sanctions, 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.
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 minister to ensure that their operations are in accordance with the laws of Ghana and international best practices.
Below is the statement from Maxam :
MAXAM EXPRESSES SYMPATHY WITH APPIATSE AND COMMITMENT TO GHANA.
Maxam, the company that manufactures the explosives that were being transported in a vehicle by a subcontractor, Arthaans Logistics, when the tragic explosion occurred at Appiatse, has had an unblemished record over more than thirty years of supplying explosives to the mining industry in Ghana and neighbouring countries.
Maxam recognizes the importance of its product for the value that Ghana and other countries derive from their natural resources, notably gold, and will continue to work with the mining industry and subcontractors involved in the transportation and use of these explosives to ensure safe handling and use.
Maxam has been deeply saddened by the road accident and the loss of lives, injuries and extensive damage to property suffered by the Appiatse community. Our hearts go out to the community members.
Maxam has noted the findings made by the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources from its review of the tragic road accident and its assessment of how to avoid a recurrence. The Ministry has determined that there were certain breaches by Maxam in its operations and has imposed a fine of US$1 million on the company.
None of these breaches were the cause of the tragic road accident and all of them relate to the transport carried out by Arthaans Logistics.
Based on a different interpretation of the applicable regulations, we believe that Maxam has not committed any of those breaches, however, to ensure the continuity of the business, to be able to supply our customers, to protect the employment of our workers and sub-contractors, Maxam has decided to pay the fine and will comply with the measures of the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources.
Given our commitment to Ghana and its welfare, Maxam has agreed to the payment of additional Five Million United States Dollars or its cedi equivalent.
We are indeed saddened by the incident and we express our heartfelt sympathy to Ghana, particularly, members of the Appiatse community for the loss of lives, property and livelihoods.
Maxam will ensure it is in full compliance with the new regulatory measures announced by the Ministry and will continue to conduct its operations in accordance with the laws of Ghana and international best practices.
Maxam wishes to emphasize its sympathy with the Appiatse community.