HEALTH AND WELFARE

ANGLO- AMERICA SETS ASIDE $101M FOR SILICOSIS CLAIMS

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British miner Anglo American has set aside $101m to cover potential damages for former South African staff who contracted the fatal lung disease silicosis at work.The news came after Johannesburg’s High Court ruled in May to allow former and current mine workers, employed by South Africa’s main gold mining firms since 1965, to proceed with a class action against those companies.

That court decision cleared the way for up to half-a-million miners to sue for damages resulting from silicosis — a deadly respiratory condition developed from breathing in fine silica dust found in places such as mines. “We have made an accounting provision within our half year results this morning, acknowledging the progress that is being made towards an agreement as part of the working group of companies in the silicosis litigation in South Africa,” an Anglo American spokesman told AFP.

miners accuse 30 subsidiaries of seven companies — including African Rainbow Minerals, Anglo American, AngloGold Ashanti, Harmony Gold, Gold Fields and Sibanye Gold — of knowingly and systematically failing to protect workers against the disease that inflames and scars the lungs.

 

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