• IS provokes sea-change

    It has been a grave mistake to defy both Russia and France, says Leopold Scholtz.

  • Nene's SAA nemesis

    No political figure seems to have the guts to speak out against Dudu Myeni, says Solly Moeng.

  • The mp3 revolution

    Ian Mann takes a look at the war between digital music and the compact disc.

All data is delayed
See More

Gold miners' steps up silicosis lawsuit

Dec 28 2012 13:45

Company Data


Last traded 36
Change 1
% Change 3
Cumulative volume 1041578
Market cap 0

Last Updated: 27-11-2015 at 05:00. Prices are delayed by 15 minutes. Source: McGregor BFA


Last traded 87
Change -1
% Change -2
Cumulative volume 3126187
Market cap 0

Last Updated: 27-11-2015 at 05:00. Prices are delayed by 15 minutes. Source: McGregor BFA


Last traded 91
Change -2
% Change -2
Cumulative volume 1204369
Market cap 0

Last Updated: 27-11-2015 at 05:00. Prices are delayed by 15 minutes. Source: McGregor BFA

Related Articles

Miners launch silicosis case

Sick miners to go to arbitration

Miners may face SA's largest damages case

Gold miners slapped with lawsuit

Anglo ordered to disclose documents

Miner with silicosis to attend Anglo AGM


Johannesburg - A lawyer has moved to file a class action suit against over 30 gold firms on behalf of 17 000 former miners who say they contracted silicosis, a debilitating lung disease, due to negligence in health and safety.

The companies include third-largest global bullion producer AngloGold Ashanti [JSE:AG], fourth-largest Gold Fields [JSE:GFI] and Harmony Gold Mining Company [JSE:HAR]. Also named is Anglo American's South African unit, which owed gold assets in the past but no longer produces it.

Attorney Richard Spoor said on Friday he had filed last week for class certification for an action for damages in the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg.

"We need to ask the court for permission to proceed on a class action basis. We filed the papers last week, and that matter will have to be argued in the court if it's opposed," Spoor said.

He expected the matter to be heard in April or May of next year.

The damages sought in what could be Africa's biggest ever class action suit have not been disclosed but could be huge at a time when South Africa's mining industry is battling with soaring power costs and wage costs as well as violent labour militancy.

Spoor has signed up 17 000 plaintiffs so far from South Africa, Botswana and Lesotho, the landlocked kingdom that has provided hundreds of thousands of migrant workers to South Africa's gold mines over the past century, he said.

Spoor said the number of plaintiffs was growing by around 500 a month.

The planned suit, which has little precedent in South African law, has its roots in a landmark ruling by the Constitutional Court that for the first time allowed lung-diseased miners to sue their employers for damages.

Silicosis is a chronic and progressive disease that cannot be cured. Miners contract it by inhaling silica dust from gold-bearing rocks.

African Rainbow Minerals [JSE:ARM], one of the companies named, said it was "too soon to discuss the outcome of the matter as none of the merits of the matter has yet been established, let alone tested in court".

An Anglo American [JSE:AGL] spokesperson said, "We are aware of the case, but Anglo American has not yet been served, so it would not be appropriate to comment any further."

Officials at AngloGold Ashanti, Gold Fields, Harmony and some other companies named in the filing could not be reached for comment.

The companies named in the filing owned or operated 78 different gold mines from 1965 to the present.

Follow Fin24 on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest.

silicosis  |  mining



Read Fin24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Company Snapshot

We're talking about:


Marketing is a big concern in SA's small business community, followed by a lack of confidence and partnering with the wrong people, according to a survey.

Money Clinic

Money Clinic
Do you have a question about your finances? We'll get an expert opinion.
Click here...

Voting Booth

The 25 basis points interest rate increase is:

Previous results · Suggest a vote