Mining firm Newmont Ghana and engineering firm DRA Ghana Limited, have been collectively fined $2.7million for negligence resulting in the death of six workers at the Ahafo Mine site in the Ashanti Region.
The six were among a group of workers who were constructing a Reclaim Tunnel as part of the Ahafo Mill Expansion (AME) Project in April 2017.
The employees were pouring a mixture of concrete at the Reclaim Tunnel when the two-level formwork structure at the west-end of the tunnel collapsed, killing six men and injuring four others.
Following the accident, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, John Peter Amewu, set up a committee to look into the matter and ascertain the causes of the accident and offer recommendations.
As part of the recommendations, Newmont Ghana, DRA Ghana Limited and its contracting firm Consar, were all asked to pay hefty fines.
“Newmont Ghana Gold Limited for failure to ensure the safety of contractor employees working at the Ahafo Mine Site shall pay the fatally wounded and the injured employees the appropriate workmen compensation,” the committee’s report said.
The committee presented its report to the Lands Minister on 18 May with 32 recommendations based on its findings.
Some of the recommendations include:
– Newmont Ghana Gold Limited Ahafo Mine shall 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
– DRA Ghana Limited shall be fined US$10,000 for operating at the Ahafo site without Mining Services Operation Permit (breach of Regulation 8(4 and 5) LI 2182 of 2012) and for each day that the Company had operated without the Mining Services Operating Permit, an additional fine of US$200 shall be imposed.
– Newmont Ghana Gold Limited for failure to ensure the safety of contractor employees working at the Ahafo Mine Site shall pay the fatally wounded and the injured employees the appropriate workmen compensation. In addition, the fatally wounded employees should be compensated for their traumatic death, loss of their life and jettisoning of their livelihood.
– NGGL shall immediately review its organizational structure to be consistent with operational responsibilities of the statutorily appointed managers to remedy the breach of the requirements under Regulation 35, LI. 2182 of 2012. For this breach, NGGL shall be fined US$10,000.
Also, for their contribution in the accident the Ministry further directed DRA Ghana to pay an additional fine of $2 million, Newmont Ghana is to pay an additional fine of $500,000 and Consar Ghana Limited is to pay an additional $200,000.