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Anglo American's South African unit reaches confidential, out-of-court settlement with 23 former miners suffering from silicosis

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21 March 2016

South African gold mining companies form working group to compensate workers for lung disease

Author: Kevin Crowley, Bloomberg Business (USA)

"South African Gold Companies Form Working Group on Lung Disease", 20 Mar 2016

South African gold-mining companies, some of which are being sued for historical incidents of lung disease, formed a working group to pay compensation to affected workers and prevent new cases occurring. The group, which includes AngloGold Ashanti Ltd., Anglo American South Africa and Sibanye Gold Ltd., plans to set up a so-called legacy fund to supplement compensation paid by the state, it said in an op-ed in Johannesburg-based City Press Sunday. "While there rests a fiduciary obligation on company managements to vigorously defend the legal challenge they face, it is also within their remit to find a solution that could provide a mutually acceptable outcome for all parties concerned," they wrote...African Rainbow Minerals Ltd., Gold Fields Ltd. and Harmony Gold Mining Co. are also part of the working group.

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1 October 2013

Silicosis claims and the gold mines: To settle or not?

Author: Sarah Evans, Mail & Guardian (So. Africa)

In [coming]…weeks…Johannesburg [‘s high court] will decide whether to collate three class action claims against 30 of South Africa's gold mines…The [legal] teams estimate that, if the application…is successful, "conservatively" between 100 000 and 200 000 miners could be involved…Separately, at least 60 individual silicosis claims are pending against large gold mining companies…A lawyer close to the class action suit [says]…the mining industry cannot afford to lose…one…individual case – a ruling in open court would set a precedent for the silicosis litigation that would cost it billions…This leaves the industry with a conundrum: to defend itself in each of the individual claims and risk the snow-ball effect…if it loses, or capitulate and settle these cases before they get to court...[Refers to African Rainbow Minerals, Anglo American, Gold Fields, Harmony Gold]

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26 September 2013

The floodgates open: Anglo-American settles mineworkers’ silicosis claims

Author: Rebecca Davis, Daily Maverick (So. Africa)

On Wednesday it was announced that Anglo-American South Africa would pay 23 former mineworkers undisclosed amounts to settle claims brought against the company after the workers contracted silicosis. The mining house remains adamant that this is not an admission of liability. But lawyers for the mineworkers are hopeful that the settlement may pave the way for payouts for silicosis victims across the industry...[Also refers to AngloGold Ashanti]

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25 September 2013

Anglo Settles South Africa Lung-Disease Claims by 23 Gold Miners

Author: Ana Monteiro, Bloomberg

Anglo American Plc’s South African unit reached a cash settlement with 23 miners who contracted lung diseases when working at its operations, the first such accord in the nation, lawyers led by Leigh Day & Co. said. Leigh Day sued Anglo American in 2004 on behalf of 18 former miners and widows of workers at its President Steyn mine…Today’s settlement, which is confidential, includes the claimants from President Steyn and five others who worked on other Anglo mines…Seven of the 23 claimants have died since 2004…The settlement is separate from a class-action suit the company faces…“Agreeing to settle this long-standing litigation is in the best interests of the plaintiffs, their families, Anglo American South Africa and its wider stakeholders,” Khanyisile Kweyama, an executive director at Anglo’s South African unit, said in a statement.

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25 September 2013

Landmark settlement of South African miners’ silicosis claims against Anglo American

Author: Legal Resources Centre, Legal Aid South Africa & Leigh Day

The long-running President Steyn gold miners’ silicosis litigation against Anglo American South Africa Ltd (“AASA”) has today been settled. This is the first gold miners’ silicosis settlement in South Africa. The terms of settlement are confidential but include payment of a sum of money to 23 claimants, including 18 President Steyn Mine claimants, whose claims began in 2004…The 23 claims arose from contraction of silicosis and silico-tuberculosis allegedly caused by AASA’s negligent failure to ensure that dust levels on its mines were adequately controlled. The claimants sought compensation for pain and suffering, lost earnings and medical expenses…Medical experts have described a “river of disease flowing out of South African gold mines”. The combination of silicosis and tuberculosis (“silico-tuberculosis”) is very serious and often fatal…

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