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So. Africa: Mining companies set aside millions for potential settlement of gold miners’ silicosis lawsuit

"Anglo, Gold Miners Set Aside Millions for Lung Disease Claims", 27 Jul 2017

South African mining firms including Anglo American Plc are preparing a multimillion-dollar settlement with as many as 100,000 former workers who suffer from debilitating and deadly lung diseases caused by exposure to dust from working underground.

Anglo has set aside $101 million in preparation for a potential settlement, while Gold Fields Ltd. expects to pay about $30 million to end a class action lawsuit, the companies said in separate statements Thursday. AngloGold Ashanti Ltd., Sibanye Gold Ltd. and Harmony Gold Mining Co. are among 32 respondents named in the suit, which would be the country’s biggest class action.

“Significant progress has been made towards a settlement, such that companies are feeling comfortable enough to quantify their liabilities,” Richard Spoor, a lawyer representing claimants, said in a phone interview. “It’s still a process but I’m fairly optimistic we will be able to conclude something within the course of this year.”…

South Africa’s High Court last year ruled that there was enough evidence of unsafe working practices to allow a class action case to proceed and that as many as 500,000 former workers could be included…

 

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