March 11, 2018 / 10:08 AM / 3 months ago

S.Africa gold miners' silicosis lawsuit settlement expected within 6 weeks

JOHANNESBURG, March 11 (Reuters) - South African gold producers will likely reach a settlement within six weeks in a lawsuit over a fatal lung disease that companies have set aside 5 billion rand ($420 million) in provisions for, a lawyer and industry group said on Sunday.

“I am confident we will finalise the settlement within six weeks,” Richard Spoor, the human rights lawyer who has spearheaded the class action suit over the disease silicosis, which gold miners contract while working underground, told Reuters.

A spokesman for the working group on Occupational Lung Disease (OLD), a group put together by the six companies involved, said it was is “hopeful” the settlement can be reached in that timeframe.

$1 = 11.8078 rand Reporting by Ed Stoddard; editing by Jason Neely

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