Politics

Shake up at Minerals Commission after Shama quarry site explosion

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The Minerals Commission has reshuffled regional heads following last Sunday’s explosion at a quarry site at Shama.

Desmond Boahen, the Western Regional Head for the Minerals Commission has been transferred to the Eastern Region

Samuel Gyabaah, the Head at the Ashanti Regional Office has been transferred from Kumasi to Takoradi to lead the Western Regional team.

Paul Dawson, the Environmental Manager at the Commission is now the Regional head for Ashanti Region.

A source at the Commission has told Graphic Online that various district heads may also be reshuffled.

Additionally, the Chief Inspector of Mines has directed all the Regional heads to undertake an audit of all quarry operations within their respective regions.

Preliminary information gathered indicates that the operators of the quarry site at Shama where the explosion occurred did not have a permit.

The company that was operating at the site in 2019 reportedly wrote to the Minerals Commission and the Environmental Protection (EPA) informing the regulatory institutions about a suspension of their operations.

Later a new owner under a new company name, reportedly applied to the Minerals Commission to operate the quarry.

While waiting for the Minerals Commission’s green light, the new owners reportedly sneaked to the site and started operating at night to avoid detection.

According to the Executive Director of the EPA, Dr Henry Kwabena Kokofu, the EPA for instance has not received any request for permit to operate, and therefore it was surprising that operations were ongoing at the site, which resulted in last weekend’s explosion.

The EPA on its part has also transferred the Western Regional Director to Accra following the explosion.

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