US-operated gold mine collapses in Ghana, 6 killed

ACCRA––The Minerals Commission of Ghana has taken over the probe into the Newmont Ghana gold mine accident which killed six people over the weekend, according to a top government official on Monday.

Ghana’s deputy minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Benito Owusu Bio, said the incident necessitated an investigation in order to avert such occurrences in the future.

“So, as we speak, an investigative team has been put together to investigate the matter to ascertain the actual cause of the problem,” Bio told local media institutions in the Ghanaian capital Accra.

The mining company confirmed to local media on Sunday that six people were killed on Saturday when a tunnel roof collapsed at one of Newmont’s gold mining sites in the country.

The catastrophe occurred following the collapse of the reclaim tunnel roof at the mining company’s Ahafo Mill Expansion project, located some 307 km northwest of Accra.

Eyewitnesses say eight crew members were working inside the reclaim tunnel at the time of the collapse. Newmont, the world’s second-largest bullion producer, also confirmed the report in a statement.

In a related statement released, the dead were workers of Consar Company Limited, a firm contracted to construct the reclaim tunnel roof.

John Peter Amewu, the Lands, and Natural Resources Minister says although the investigations into the accident are yet to conclude, the fatal incident pointed to a clear engineering failure.

Amewu, while speaking to the media after a brief tour of the accident scene, said the tragic incident could have been prevented had key structural adjustments been done.