Leading gold mining company, Gold Fields Limited, says the mining industry in Ghana can learn from the unfortunate Bogoso-Appiate explosion disaster and become better going forward.
The January 20 explosion occurred along the Tarkwa-Bogoso-Ayamfuri road after a truck transporting mining explosives collided with a motorcycle, according to the Police.
At least 13 people have been confirmed dead as a result of the explosion, with over 170 families directly affected by the incident.
Individuals, companies and the government have all been contributing in varied ways to provide shelter and support for the victims and families of the disaster.
In response to a question by Citi Business News at a media engagement in Accra, the Acting Executive Vice President and Head of Gold Fields in West Africa, Joshua Mortoti noted that priority should be given to rebuilding the community and lives of the people of Appiate.
“We are keen to learn from the investigation report, to understand what happened and what additional steps we can take going forward. But I must assure you that the regulations that we have around transportation, storage and handling of explosives in this country are really solid. It has boded well for us for all these years. That however doesn’t mean what we have is full-proof, at least we can learn from the investigations to do better going forward. The first thing for us however is to provide relief for the people of Appiate.”
“We were one of the very first people to donate tents, mattresses, food items, water and the likes to the affected people. We are also working with the government through our chamber on how the community can be rebuilt,” he added.
On his part, the CEO of Gold Fields, Chris Griffith stated that even as companies in the space wait for the investigations to conclude, many will be reviewing their safety protocols to ensure the highest safety standards within the industry.
“Even before we know the outcome of that investigation, we will be looking at our own standards, making sure we are complying with the regulations in place and making sure we do the very best we can until such a time that we get the answers. Our mining regulators have asked for space to finish their investigations to ensure the industry can collectively take remedial action to ensure such a tragedy doesn’t happen again.”
The media engagement saw the leadership of Gold Fields outline the progress it has made in multiple areas as well as the goals of the company in areas including Energy Security, Water Security, Safety and Health, as well as gender diversity in the medium to long-term.