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16 Feb 2017

Greg Nicolson, Daily Maverick (So. Africa)

So. Africa: Mineworkers likely to settle lawsuit over compensation for health damage against gold mining companies

"Silicosis: Mining companies point to settlement", 15 Feb 2017

...Occupational Lung Disease Working Group chairman Graham Briggs was confident a settlement would be reached this year with mineworkers who have launched class action suits against more than two dozen gold mining companies...If the cases proceed in court they could take over a decade to resolve...The Working Group represents six large mining companies, African Rainbow Minerals, Anglo American, AngloGold Ashanti, Harmony, Goldfields and Sibanye...Briggs was confident a settlement might be reached in 2017 because he said engagements between the claimants’ lawyers, unions and government had been positive...Charles Abrahams...which has been working on the class action...said settlement discussions continued in good faith.  According to representatives of both mineworkers and mining companies, current compensation discussions include potentially compensating workers who have contracted silicosis and tuberculosis, as well as the dependents of employees who have passed away.  Abrahams said it would be in his clients’ best interest if a decent settlement is reached out of court...For now, it seems an out-of-court settlement is likely...