The Ghana Mine Workers Union has stated that it would have preferred prosecution of persons involved in the Newmont Ahafo mines accident that claimed six lives and injured four people, in addition to the fines imposed on the companies.
Even though the union described the fines imposed on the companies as encouraging, it however argued that the culprits should have been dragged to court to stop the inhumane conditions that contract workers are compelled to work.
Newmont Ghana Limited, together with two sub-contractors, DRA Ghana Limited and Consar Ghana Limited were fined about of $2.7million for failing to ensure the safety of the mine workers after an investigation.
Newmont has also been asked to compensate the families of the deceased, as well as the injured for the trauma they have suffered.
One of the sub-contractors, DRA Ghana Limited which supervised the expansion works has been suspended from undertaking any mining works in the country.
Although the Mine Workers Union has welcomed the sanctions against the companies the union has called for prosecution of officials who contributed to the accident.
The General Secretary of the union, Prince Ankrah said jailing some officials will reduce the rate at which contract mine workers are ill-treated by their employers.
“The committee did very well. This will ensure that contract firms will not take employees lives for granted. But elsewhere, beyond the fine, the CEO of the companies could’ve have been prosecuted and jailed for manslaughter,” he noted.
The committee’s sanctions
Newmont Ghana Limited has been asked to pay US$500,000 for negligence.
The company has also been fined US$10,000 for failing to ensure that DRA Company Limited had the requisite permit to provide Mining Services Operation in the country.
It will also pay an additional $200 for each day DRA Ghana Limited operated.
Consar Limited, the construction company in which the victims worked for, will also be paying US$200,000 for failing to ensure the safety of its workers.
DRA Ghana limited has been slapped with a fine of US$2 million for contributing to the accident.
It has also been directed to pay $10,000 and an additional $200 for each day it operated.
The accident occurred two months ago when an attempt to pour a mixture of concrete into a Reclaim Tunnel failed.
Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources subsequently set up a committee to investigate the incident.
The committee submitted the report after five weeks of investigations. The victims were all workers of Consar Limited.