The Western Regional office of the Minerals Commission says Omni Quarry, the company at the centre of Saturday’s quarry explosion, has no legal backing for quarrying in the Shama District. It said, at the time of the explosion, the company had not been issued with a lease by the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources while, the site of the explosion was the residential facilities for the company. The Anto-Abosso area in the Shama District at about 11.50pm on Saturday, recorded a deadly explosion at the Omni quarry site, in which five lives were lost and many injured, who were sent to various hospitals within Sekondi-Takoradi for treatment. Additionally, all the facilities, including light vehicles and equipment close to the residential structures on site were destroyed. A statement cited by the Ghana News Agency from the Commission, said the company had applied for a Restricted Mining Lease for granite commonly referred to as a quarry and recommendation for the company to be considered for the grant of a fo
rmal lease was granted on 20 March 2023. However, the Commission, after the preliminary investigations could confirm that the site of the explosion was a subject of an application by a company with the name Sta Addsams Enterprise. It said, a routine monitoring visit by the inspectors from the Takoradi Office to the site revealed that the enterprise was engaged in site cleaning and preparatory works and had conducted run of the machines and equipment on site without the approval of the Commission. The statement noted the enterprise was, therefore, notified by the inspectors that such activities were illegal and was directed to cease any activity on the site until the lease was granted and all other permits and approvals for the storage, transportation and use of any substance to undertake operations were obtained. In this regard, pending the completion of a full investigation into the cause of the explosion, the enterprise had no lease, approval or permit to undertake any activity or operation at the site. Alr
eady, a team of Mine Inspectors from the Takoradi Office of the Commission had visited the site of the explosion which was about 1.5 km away from the nearest settlement. The inspectors were joined by officials from other State institutions comprising the National Disaster Management Organisation, Environmental Protection Agency, Ghana Fire Service, Ambulance Service, Ghana Police Service and officials from the Shama District Assembly. The inspectors also found empty drums at the site believed to have contained diesel, other lubricants, cigarette pieces and oxy-acetylene cylinders. The statement said the Commission remained committed to ensuring that all quarry sites were licensed, and all the requisite approvals, including permits were obtained before any operations could be undertaken.
Source: Ghana News Agency