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SA Gold Miners’ Silicosis Class Action May Be Settled In Six Weeks

The six gold mining companies involved in a class action lawsuit by South African miners over fatal lung diseases brought about by their work in the mines, and the human rights lawyer representing the miners both say they are hopeful that a settlement can be reached within six weeks.

Richard Spoor, the American lawyer who has previously beaten the big tobacco companies in the US and now represents the affected South African miners afflicted by the lung disease known as silicosis, said he was confident a settlement would be finalised within six weeks.

A spokesman for the six gold miners — Harmony Gold, Gold Fields, AngloGold Ashanti, Sibanye Gold, African Rainbow Minerals (ARM) and Anglo American — who have formed the Occupational Lung Disease (OLD) working group to deal with the issue, said the group was hopeful a settlement would be reached in that time. The OLD group has set aside 5 billion rand ($420 million at today’s exchange rate) to settle the case.

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