Three companies fined $2,770,400 fine for various mining violations
Accra- In a bid to ensure the full compliance of various mining regulations in the country, government has imposed a fine of $2,770,400 on three companies for various mining regulation breaches that resulted in the Ahafo Mill expansion accident.
Of the total, DRA Ghana Limited has been directed to pay $2,010,000.00, Newmont Gold Ghana Limited (NGGL) is to settle a fee of $550,400.00, while Consar Limited is to pay $201,000.00.
The sanctions are in line with the Minerals and Mining Act 2006, Act 703 Section Five Article One that states that the Minister on behalf of the President and on the recommendation of the Commission may negotiate, grant, revoke, suspend or renew mineral rights in accordance with this Act.
A statement signed by Mr Peter Amewu, Minister of Lands and Natural Resource and copied to the Ghana News Agency in Accra on Monday said the three companies had been penalized due to their contribution to the accident that led to the death of six persons and four others who sustained various degrees of injuries.
It said an investigation was instituted among others to find out the cause of the April 7, 2018 incident where Consar, a contractor working under the supervision of DRA Ghana Limited, an agent of NGGL -an accident occurred in the process of constructing a reclaim tunnel as part of the Ahafo Mill Expansion Project.
The statement said after five weeks of investigations the team found that the accident bordered on design, operational and managerial failures leading to the fatalities and casualties.
It said the experts recommended that DRA Ghana Limited must be stopped from undertaking any construction project management on any mining site in Ghana for their disregard for safety.
The statement suggested that a fine of $10,000.00 be slapped on DRA Ghana Limited for operating at the Ahafo site without Mining Services Operation Permit (MSOP) and for each day that the Company had operated without the Mining Services Operating Permit an additional fined of 200 dollars.
It directed that NGGL fined $10.000 for failure to ensure that DRA Ghana Limited obtains an MSOP prior to commencing operations at the Ahafo site that breach of Regulation eight Legislation Instrument (LI) 2182 of 2012 and for each day that the Company had operated without the Mine Support Operating Permit, an additional charge of 200 dollars.
The statement said the team also recommended that for failure to ensure the safety of contracted employees working at the Ahafo Mine Site, NGGL should pay the fatally wounded and the injured employees the appropriate workmen compensation.
In addition, it said, the fatally wounded employees should be compensated for their traumatic death, loss of their life and jettisoning of their livelihood.
The statement said the investigators recommended that NGGL must pay $10,000 dollars for breach of Regulation 23 article one of, LI 2182 of 2012.
It said the team additionally advised that Mr Osei Owusu Adansi, Supervisor of Consar Limited, be dismissed from working as a supervisor at the site, for not ensuring the safety of his workmen that was a breach of regulations 550 and 553.
NGGL must suspend DRA Ghana Limited from all their activities at NGGL Ahafo Mine for failure to ensure the absolute health safety and security of their contractor employees and therefore in breach of Regulation 553, LI 2182 of 2012.
The statement said experts also counselled that NGGL must immediately review all organograms to ensure that the General Manager has oversight responsibilities for all projects pursuant to Regulation 40, 35 and 55, L.I. 2182 of 2012 and slapped the company with a fine of 20.000 dollars.
It said the team proposed that Consar Limited must ensure careful supervision and continuous inspection of formwork during erection, concrete placement, and removal of formwork.
The statement said the government aside from the recommendations of the team additionally charged the three companies with additional fines where DRA Ghana Limited is to pay two million dollars, NGGL is to pay 500,000 dollars and Consar Ghana Limited is to pay 200,000 dollars.
It said the general, safety of workers at all mine sites in Ghana was of paramount interest to government and urged all operators on all mines sites in the country to comply with all laws, regulations, and terms of their licences without fail.
The statement warned that failure to do so would come with sanctions that could include withdrawal of their licenses as well as other punitive penalties.
Source: Ghana News Agency