By Jack Adom

Maxam, the Australian-based manufacturer and distributors of hard-rock explosives, has been caught pants-down with the recent seizure of large quantities of its products among illegal miners in Obuasi and the surrounding mining communities.


The powerful explosives were seized during anti-illegal mining operations to galamsey sites by a combined team of AngloGold Ashanti anti-galamsey security, G4S and other security officials. Although AGA does not use Maxam products in its blasting operations, the illegal miners have stockpiled the Maxam explosives which they use to scrounge the AGA concession causing havoc not only to the security and safety of the people but assets of the company.

Hard-rock explosives are legally controlled products and they could only be purchased by registered mining and quarry companies. Minerals Commission regulations also enjoin distributors to be registered individual or company before they can sell. What this means is that the illegal miners had acquired these explosives directly from Maxam or its distributors with total disregard of the laid down procedures.

Shocked by the use of explosives by illegal miners, the former Ashanti Regional Minister ? Hon. Eric Opoku warned that the government would investigate the mode of acquisition and use of these powerful explosives and that those behind it would be thoroughly investigated so that they could face the full rigours of the law; but not much has been done. The lack of action seems to have spurred on the illegal miners to continue their use explosives.
As recent as last September, as many as 89 pieces of MAXAM RIODIN HE 26 x 200 plastic explosives (power gel), one rim of cortex and other items were seized from the illegal miners during an anti-galamsey operation at Kunka, Kokoteasua, Mount Cade and New Abompe illegal-mining infested areas, a reliable source close to AGA security and Obuasi Police confirmed.

?Obuasi is not the only municipality where illegal miners are using explosives in the savage rat-race for money. Amansie Central, Upper and Lower Denkyira, Tarkwa-Nsuaem,WassaAmenfi East, Ellembelle, just to mention a few are all suffering from the illegal use of explosives.The illegal miners have been using explosives for the past years but the fear is that these could be used in future to undermine peace, security and safety of the country if proactive measures are not taken by the government and its stakeholders to control the mode of acquisition and use of explosives in the country.?




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