Martin Ayisi — CEO, Minerals Commission
Martin Ayisi — CEO, Minerals Commission

Fallout from Shama explosion: Shake-up at Minerals Commission

The Minerals Commission has appointed Mr Samuel Gyabaah as the new Regional Head for the Western Region as part of a shake-up in the commission following last Sunday’s explosion which occurred at the STA Addsam quarry in the Shama District in the Western Region.


Mr Gyabaah, a mining engineer who worked with AngloGold Ashanti for 18 years, was the head of the Ashanti Regional office of the commission before his transfer from Kumasi to Takoradi.

As part of the exercise, Mr Desmond Boahen, also a mining engineer, has been transferred from the Takoradi office to Koforidua as the new regional head.

Checks by the Daily Graphic also revealed that Mr Paul Dawson, a mining engineer who worked with Newmont Ghana Gold Limited as an Environmental Manager for 20 years, is now the regional head for the Ashanti Region.

A source at the commission intimated that the various district heads might also be transferred.

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

In a related development, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has also directed its Western Regional Director to proceed to Accra for reassessment. 

An explosion at the STA Addsam Quarry Mine, formerly Omini Quarry, in the Shama District in the Western Region, killed four persons and left many injured.

Many night workers, believed to be Chinese and Ghanaians, were burnt beyond recognition, while others, including the managing director of the company, are still missing.

However, those who survived were rushed to the various hospitals in the district and Sekondi.

A fuel station and the only health post in the area were not spared, as the blast caused extensive damage to countless structures and also compromised the structural integrity of many buildings.

The incident is the second to hit the Western Region in less than two years after an explosion wiped out Appeatse in January last year.

The explosion is said to have occurred at about half past midnight on Sunday from an unapproved storage for explosives.Checks by the Daily Graphic from multiple sources revealed that the explosives were being kept in an adjoining facility to the residence of the workers of the company without permit from regulators, contrary to the law governing the acquisition, storage and use of explosives. 

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