As a means to expedite the probe into the Appiatse explosion in the Western Region, the Minerals Commission has justified the closure of the Maxam Company Limited to deal with the source of the problem.
The company was shut down by the commission on Saturday in compliance with a directive by the Lands and Natural Resources Ministry.
Its Western Regional Manager, Isaac Mwinbelle, gave the explanation in Takwa after shutting down Maxam.
“The explosion didn’t happen here. But we have to close down this site because this is the source of the material. This is where the explosives were manufactured and transported to the various sites. So once it starts from here, we must get to the source, just not stopping it on the highway. This is the reason why we are shutting the company down so that we can complete all investigations into the matter as part of the Minerals and Mining regulations, where we think that, there is further harm, that could be caused as a result of operating any site.”
The explosion is said to have occurred after a motorcycle went under a truck carrying explosives owned by Maxam Limited.
The explosives were being transported to the Chirano gold mine, run by Toronto-based Kinross (K.TO).
Briefing the press after handing over the shutdown documents to the company’s Plant Manager, Emerald Takyi, the Western Regional Manager of the Commission, Isaac Mwinbelle indicated that Maxam Limited, cannot be blamed for any wrongdoing until investigations into the incident are completed.
“We have not completed investigations, and we cannot say that Maxam has gone wrong in any of this. We are still going through investigations. Remember that the Police are also doing their investigations on the spot.”
“Till we put all these pieces together and look at the requirements, then we will be able to tell who is culpable and who is not. But at this stage, we cannot tell who is culpable or not. We are still in the process of investigations. Until investigations are completed, we cannot say someone is culpable or not.”
To make sure any secondary explosion does not occur, the government has deployed a joint team of police and military explosion experts to examine the situation and put in place the requisite measures.