Ghanaian minister Samuel Jinapor’s house catches fire while investigating China’s Shaanxi mine

The home of the Ghanaian minister involved in negotiations over a deadly $395million mining dispute between Australian and Chinese state-linked mining companies has caught fire, as community anger grows in response to the management of the case by the government.

Mines Minister Samuel Jinapor was in Australia when his home in the capital, Accra, caught fire AEST on Saturday. The minister had met with officials from Australian miner Cassius in Perth hours before the fire engulfed the second floor of his home in the suburb of Adjiringanor.

Samuel Jinapor, Ghanaian Minister of Natural ResourcesCredit:Bloomberg

Jinapor and the Ghana Minerals Commission had agreed to investigate the alleged theft of millions of dollars worth of gold from an Australian mine in Africa by the state-linked Chinese company Shaanxi and question its officials about the death of dozens of local miners in its pits in northern Ghana.

The Ghana National Fire Service is investigating the cause of the fire. The fire engulfed an upstairs bedroom, leaving behind a trail of blackened shoes, clothes and a handbag labeled Louis Vuitton.

In Ghana, senior politicians, local activists and villagers have called on the Ghanaian government to be held accountable for the incidents, revealed by The Sydney Morning Herald and age Blood Gold investigates, accusing the government of abandoning them when Shaanxi had its license expanded to 50 times its original size. Jinapor became mines minister in 2021, two years after the mine’s deadliest incident in which 16 local miners were reportedly killed by poison gas to prevent them from entering Chinese territory.

The Jinapor residence fire in Accra

The Jinapor residence fire in Accra

Talensi pastor Albert Naa said the community had received little attention from local, regional or national authorities.

“In the last few years that these incidents have continued, no compensation has been paid to anyone,” he said. “That’s what scares us.”

On social media, some Ghanaians suggested the fire was a response to frustration caused by the government’s mismanagement of mining communities.