The Founder and President of the African Institute for Extractive Industries, Dr. Toni Aubynn says the interdiction of the Chief Inspector of Mines over the huge mining explosion at Bogoso-Appiate should not be misinterpreted as his culpability in the disaster.
He maintains the move as instructed by the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources is apt pending the outcome of the ongoing investigations to ascertain the real cause of the blast.
Speaking on The Big Issue, Dr. Toni Aubynn believes the interdiction is only procedural to avert any interference in the probe.
“It must be very clear that the interdiction is no admission that the Chief Executive Officer has committed any crime, or he is culpable. It is for him to stand aside, provide information and ensure that he will not be working during the investigation. I feel that it’s an administrative move, and they will bring him back if he is not culpable. So for me, if the objective of the interdiction is for the integrity of the investigation, then that’s okay”, he explained.
Touching on the suspension of the license of Maxam Limited, the mining services contractor at the centre of the explosion, Dr. Toni Aubynn, who is a former Chief Executive Officer of the Minerals Commission, was of the view that the decision is appropriate to prevent a recurrence at least in the short time and not to compromise the investigation.
“Government has a major interest in the mining company because it receives revenue, but if it’s about the integrity of the investigation, that can be done before they return to work”.
Probe must be independent, transparent – Bureau of Public Safety
The Bureau for Public Safety is calling for independent and transparent investigations into the incident.
Chief of Party for the Bureau of Public Safety, Nana Yaw Akwada in a Citi News interaction said, although the swift commencement of investigations by the Ministry is welcoming, it must, however, ensure that the processes are not meddled with.
“I think we must commend the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources for the action they have taken so far. We believe that it is in accordance with best practices when such things occur. That main actors step aside to allow unimpeded investigations. We will also expect that the members of the investigative committee should be known to the public, and we will expect that, this investigative committee will also be from all the parties that are linked to this incident.”
The government has suspended the license of a mining services contractor; Maxam Limited, following a huge explosion at Bogoso-Appiate on Thursday, January 20, 2022.
The explosion 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).
A statement from the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources which disclosed the suspension also indicated that the Chief Inspector of the Mines has been interdicted, as investigations into the incident continue.