The Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources on 7th February 2022 released 14 measures to be complied with by companies operating in the manufacture, supply, transportation, and use of explosives in Ghana following the Appiaste explosion tragedy. Click here to read more.
On 20 January 2022, a truck transporting explosive materials – Ammonium Nitrate and Fuel Oil (“ANFO”) – from Maxam Ghana Limited’s (“Maxam”) explosives plant to Chirano Gold Mines exploded, causing extensive damage to life and property. 13 persons were reported dead; 100 injured, and several others rendered homeless due to the impact of the explosion which brought down, or structurally weakened, almost all houses in the community.
A three (3)-member committee was set up by the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources to investigate the incident. The Committee handed over their report to the Minister, Hon. Samuel Abu Jinapor on 1 February 2022. Upon review of the Committee’s report, the Ministry through a press release dated 7 February 2022, has given all companies operating in the sector 14 measures to serve as guidelines in the transportation of explosives by road.
The measures to be complied with are as follows:
1. Maxam, and any other company, shall not transport explosives on a public road unless notice of the transportation has been given to the Chief Inspector of Mines or the Regional Mines Inspector; at least, 48 hours before the scheduled time for transportation. This is to enable the requisite inspection and certification to be carried out before the transportation of the explosives to a mine or quarry site.
2. An Inspector of Mines/Explosives shall be present, inspect, verify, and record on the designated explosives logbook for transportation that all the requisite safety requirements, rules, and protocols have been met before explosives are transported from the operational site of the company to a mine or a quarry site.
3. An Inspector of Mines/Explosives shall physically inspect the explosives truck to ensure that the truck is in good working condition, in accordance with the truck examination list. The truck driver must have a professional driver’s license to drive the vehicle before the loading of the explosives into the truck.
4. All trucks used by the company in carting explosives shall have:
i. A red flashing light clearly visible at least, 100 metres away;
ii. A klaxon or siren, hooter or automatically operated bell;
iii. An automatic fire suppression system alongside fire extinguishers;
iv. A tracking system to monitor the speed and movement of the explosives truck;
v. An integrated monitoring system to check driver fatigue;
vi. A megaphone to warn people or bystanders in case of danger; and
vii. Drive cameras to monitor the explosives’ truck drivers.
5. Before each explosives truck takes off from the operational site of the company, the waybill for the transportation shall be endorsed by an Inspector of Mines/Explosives who shall be satisfied that the explosives are under the direct control of a person who has a certificate of competence, in accordance with regulation 15(2) of the Minerals and Mining (Explosives) Regulations, 2012 (L.I 2177) ("L.I. 2177”).
6. All trucks transporting explosives must be accompanied by escort vehicles which shall be inspected by an Inspector of Mines, and all the details recorded in the Inspector’s Field Book.
7. Escort vehicles must have:
a. A red flashing light clearly visible at least 50 metres away.
b. A klaxon or siren or hooter or automatically operated bell.
8. The transportation of explosives on public roads shall have two (2) escorts: one (1) leading the explosives truck and maintaining a distance of at least 50 metres and at most 60 metres from the vehicle carrying the explosives with a Uniformed and Armed Police Officer, and the other behind the explosives truck and maintaining a distance of at least 20 metres and at most 30 metres, with an unarmed but Uniformed Police Officer.
9. Competent persons accompanying explosives trucks shall notify the Regional Inspector of Mines in the Region upon arriving at their destinations and indicate the arrival times in a designated logbook for that purpose.
10. The company shall not, unless otherwise expressly permitted by the Chief Inspector of Explosives, transport ANFO on a public road to a mine or civil work site.
11. A person who drives an escort vehicle shall not drive faster than 60 kilometres per hour.
12. Competent persons accompanying explosives shall be trained in the Code of Safe Working Practice (Code of Safe Operating Procedure) for transportation of Explosives along Public Roads and shall carry the code with them.
13. The Explosives Manager shall develop the Code of Safe Working Practice and the code shall be approved by an Inspector.
14. The transportation of ANFO from or to the operational site of a registered mine support service company with the requisite permits or to a mine site shall be regulated by L.I. 2177.
The Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources has set out these measures to ensure that mining and mine support services are conducted in a safe and healthy environment that poses no danger to life and/or property.