Maxam Ghana Limited has reluctantly agreed to pay the whopping US$6 million fine imposed on them by Samuel Abu Jinapor, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources.
In a statement issued by the company on Tuesday 8th February shortly after the minister communicated the imposition of the fine to the public, Maxam said although the breaches found 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 that occurred on Thursday, January 10, 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.
Imposition of fine
In a statement issued on Tuesday, 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.
Also, the statement indicated that although the regulatory breaches attract fines ranging between six hundred Ghana cedis and US$10,000, the minister imposed the one million dollars 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 US dollars, bringing the total amount payable by Maxam to six million dollars.
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 minister’s statement, Maxam said based on a different interpretation of the law, they did not believe they committed any regulatory breaches.
However, Maxam noted that “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 million 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.
Source: Asaase Radio