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15 Dec 2015

Nastassia Arendse, Miningweb (So. Africa)

So. Africa: Gold mining companies push for legacy fund to pay eligible silicosis claimants above statutory compensation

"Gold mining companies push for a legacy fund", 14 Dec 2015

A working group of seven mining houses is pushing for a legacy fund that will pay a top-up payment to eligible silicosis claimants over and above the statutory compensation to which they are eligible. The mining houses involved are Anglo American, Anglo Gold Ashanti, African Rainbow Minerals, DRDGold, Goldfields, Sibanye and Harmony.

The commitment is aimed at finding an outcome that is fair to past, present and future employees in the gold mining industry.

…“The companies have recognised that the actual levels of compensation provided to miners with silicosis are inadequate. Therefore, they have reached the conclusion that all current and future employees should fall under that better compensation fund,” says Fine [spokesperson for the group].

The initiative follows a class action lawsuit initiated by former mineworkers who are seeking compensation as a result of alleged mining negligence, after exposure to conditions, which caused them to contract tuberculosis and silicosis. The companies do not believe that they are liable and are defending the claims levelled against them…