Min­ing houses form body for lung ail­ments

The Star Early Edition - - BUSINESS REPORT -

FIVE South African min­ing com­pa­nies in­clud­ing AngloGold Ashanti, the world’s third-big­gest pro­ducer of the metal, formed a group to look at com­pen­sa­tion and med­i­cal care for oc­cu­pa­tional lung dis­ease in South Africa. The pro­duc­ers, which in­clude Gold Fields, An­glo Amer­i­can, Har­mony Gold Min­ing and Sibanye Gold, would hold meet­ings with gov­ern­ment de­part­ments, labour unions and le­gal rep­re­sen­ta­tives of claimants next year, they said. “Th­ese com­pa­nies do not be­lieve they are li­able in re­spect of the claims brought, and they are de­fend­ing th­ese.” “The com­pa­nies do, how­ever, be­lieve that they should work to­gether to seek a so­lu­tion to this South African min­ing in­dus­try legacy is­sue.” Last year, lawyers for more than 25 000 min­ers and the de­pen­dents of de­ceased work­ers who con­tracted sil­i­co­sis and tu­ber­cu­lo­sis while work­ing on South African gold mines filed an ap­pli­ca­tion to com­bine three pend­ing cases against pro­duc­ers. The coun­try’s gold mines caused about 1 140 new cases of sil­i­co­sis a year from 1980 to 1990, David Davis, a min­ing an­a­lyst at SBG Se­cu­ri­ties, said in 2011. Sil­i­co­sis is caused by pro­longed ex­po­sure to sil­ica dust in mines, leav­ing ir­re­versible scar tis­sue in lungs that makes it hard to breathe. It also height­ens the risk of con­tract­ing tu­ber­cu­lo­sis. – Bloomberg

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.