Civil Engineering Failure Caused Newmont Deaths – Amewu
The Land and Natural Resources Minister John Peter Amewu has attributed the collapse of the reclaim tunnel roof at Newmont Ghana’s Ahafo Mill Expansion project to a civil engineering failure.
He said officials of the Minerals Commission have been detailed to take over the site where the accident happened to investigate and come out with what actually happened.
“Our understanding is that the contractor is a civil engineering contracting firm that is doing this job for Newmont, so it is a subcontract,” he said in a Starr News interview.
“So, this is a complete civil engineering failure,” he explained.
At least six persons have lost their lives following the collapse.
The mining company in a statement confirming the fatal accident, which occurred on Saturday April 7, 2018, said two others have been treated and discharged.
The workers were all contractor employees with Consar Limited, a construction services company.
“The entire Newmont family is devastated by this tragic accident and our priority is to provide support to the families, friends and co-workers of the deceased,” said Alwyn Pretorius, Regional Senior Vice President of Newmont’s Africa Operations.
Newmont has since suspended operations at the Ahafo Mill Expansion project site.
“All other employees working in the area have been safely relocated and the scene of the accident has been secured. The police are on site and the appropriate government and regulatory agencies have been notified, including the Inspectorate Division of the Minerals Commission,” the statement added.
Commenting on the tragedy Former Chief Executive officer the Minerals Commission Dr. Tony Aubyn called for periodic inspections at mining sites in the country in order to avert such accidents that can lead to deaths.
He also urged mining firms to ensure the absolute protection of their workers.
“Mining is a very dangerous and risky business and so we must make sure that those who go to work every morning at mining sites return home. What happened at Newmont is unfortunate. Over the years, I will say Ghana has improved when it comes to safety at our mining sites. I think periodic and scheduled inspections at our mining sites should happen. Unannounced inspections should take place once a while also. Monitoring and Supervision should increase at our mining sites,” he told Francis Abban on Morning Starr.
For his part, President of Affected Miners association Kennedy Adu called on the management of Newmont to provide appropriate compensation for the families of the deceased miners.
“Some of the sub-contractors working at Newmont do not pay attention to safety and that is unfortunate. For Newmont as a company, they really care about safety. I am expecting Newmont to take care of the families of the deceased. The children of those who have lost their lives should be taken through school to the University level”.