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Gold firms form working group on lung disease

Mar 20 2016 13:26
Kevin Crowley

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Johannesburg - South African gold-mining companies, some of which are being sued for historical incidents of lung disease, formed a working group to pay compensation to affected workers and prevent new cases occurring.

The group, which includes AngloGold Ashanti [JSE:ANG], Anglo American South Africa [JSE:AGL] and Sibanye Gold [JSE:SGL], plans to set up a so-called legacy fund to supplement compensation paid by the state, it said in an op-ed in Johannesburg-based City Press Sunday.

“While there rests a fiduciary obligation on company managements to vigorously defend the legal challenge they face, it is also within their remit to find a solution that could provide a mutually acceptable outcome for all parties concerned,” they wrote.

Sufferers of silicosis, a lung disease caused by inhaling dust from mines, are planning a class-action lawsuit against mining companies, which they say provided unsafe working conditions. Anglo American Plc’s South African unit and AngloGold settled a separate case related to silicosis earlier this month for about 500 million rand ($33 million).

African Rainbow Minerals [JSE:ARI], Gold Fields [JSE:GFI] and Harmony Gold Mining [JSE:HAR] are also part of the working group.

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