The government appears to have no plans to prosecute Chirano Gold Mines for the tragic explosion that happened last Thursday at Appiate, a rural town between Bogoso and Bawdie in the Western Region’s Prestea Huni-Valley Municipality.
The explosion occurred when a vehicle carrying explosives requested by Chirano Gold Mines collided with a motorcycle while travelling from Tarkwa to the company’s location.
Some have called for sanctions against the companies involved, claiming that they failed to follow standards controlling the shipment of explosives.
On Citi TV’s Point of View, Minister of Lands and Natural Resources Samuel Abdulai Jinapor said it would be unfair to hold Chirano Gold Mines responsible for the explosion because the company had only ordered explosives from Maxam Company Limited and thus was not obligated to ensure a safe transfer of the explosives.
“You have to make decisions on a reasoned basis. On the basis where the law supports decisions and take a decision in a manner that is fair. The company that ordered the explosives, I do not know to what extent the company can be held liable for the transportation of explosives. We still have not been able to have a proper legitimate ground to suspend Chirano Company Limited’s operations while investigations are being carried out.”
The Minister further stated that his organization is collaborating with the police and the Minister of the Interior to examine the occurrence and deliver a comprehensive report.
“My outfit is not working independently. We are collaborating in our efforts. Preliminary investigations are ongoing and when the investigations are completed we will arrive at a conclusion,” the Minister assured.
Although the government has not yet sanctioned Chirano Gold Mines for the explosion, it has already shut down Maxam Limited and placed its Chief Inspector of Mines under house arrest while the inquiry continues.
It has also revoked the license of the business that Maxam used to carry the explosives.
The tragedy has sparked a discussion about whether the Minerals and Mining (Explosives) Regulations, 2012, (L.I 2177) are being followed
Regulation 33 (Permit to Transport Explosives) states that:
1) A person who holds an operating licence under regulations 22 to 27 may apply for a permitted asset out in Form P in the Second Schedule to transport a specific type and amount of explosives
2) A person who transports under a Form P permit shall give notice to the Chief Inspector about the type and amount of explosives to be transported at least forty-eight hours before the explosives are transported.