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11 Dec 2011

Justine Gerardy, Mail & Guardian [So. Africa]

Sick miners want Anglo American to pay up

The 54-year-old [Mongezi Mponco] continued working when diagnosed with early incurable lung disease until he was fired after 30 years, in a story traced on thumb-worn papers kept in his home off a rutted dirt road in the Eastern Cape...[T]he best has not materialised for Mponco and hundreds of other former mineworkers who now want mining giant Anglo American to pay up for exposing them to dangerous dust levels. The London-listed firm's South African subsidiary is being sued on two continents in cases that could run into millions of rands in damages. A seven-year case with 18 claimants is nearing trial in South Africa, and a class action recently filed in Britain has more than 700 claimants and is still collecting names...The company denies responsibility as the claims involve companies in which its South African wing had minority interests. "Anglo American does not believe that it is any way liable for the silicosis claims brought by former gold workers and is defending the actions," said the company.[also refers to AngloGold]