From Francis Owusu-Ansah, Sunyani.
The Ghana Chamber of Mines is calling for calm as investigations continue into the death of six contractor employees at Newmont Ghana’s Ahafo mine expansion project site on Saturday.
The Chamber said in a statement to the press that “as is usually the case during such mine accidents, investigations by state institutions, particularly the Inspectorate Division of the Minerals Commission, are undertaken to determine the circumstances that led to the incident.” The Chamber added: “While we await the report from the Minerals Commission’s investigations, we wish to call on all and sundry to be circumspect in commenting or reporting on the matter without recourse to the verified facts.” The Chamber said safety remains the utmost priority of the mining industry, and, as such, the Chamber will continue to work with all relevant institutions to ensure that such incidents do not recur in any of our mines. The Chamber said its members’ principal and most cherished value is the safety of their employees, which underlines the measures and interventions that are instituted at their respective offices and sites to ensure their wellbeing. The statement further said: “The Chamber would want to take this opportunity to commiserate with the families, friends, and colleagues of the deceased workers, as well as Newmont Ghana. “Once again, the Chamber wishes to express its profound condolence to the bereaved families and the entire staff of Newmont Ghana,” the Chamber added.
Meanwhile, the Ghana Mineworkers’ Union (GMWU) has called on the Minerals Commission to speed up with the ongoing investigations being conducted into the mine accident that occurred on the premises of Newmont Ghana Gold Limited, Ahafo Mill Expansion Project. This was contained in a statement issued to the media, which also urged all union members across the mining sector in Ghana, particularly in Newmont Ghana Gold Limited, to uphold the highest standards of health and safety, and make every effort to work safely at all times. According to the GMWU, the true cause of the accident needs to be ascertained to allow for the right action to be taken against any person or entity that is found culpable of negligence. In the statement signed by the General Secretary of the GMWU, Prince William Ankrah, it stated that, “We indeed find this accident extremely unfortunate, considering the level of attention Newmont Ghana Gold Limited, as a business, attaches to matters of health and safety, and will stop at nothing to ensure that all employees work safely at all times.” “We, therefore, deeply regret this development, and wish to convey our heartfelt sympathies to the bereaved families of our departed comrades, and hope that the needed corrective measures are put in place to ensure a more safe and secured workplace,” Mr. Ankrah said. The statement comes after six persons died, with others sustaining various degrees of injury, following a reclaimed tunnel roof collapsing on the workers who were engaged at Newmont Ghana’s Ahafo mine Mill Expansion project.