JOHANNESBURG-- Former and current mine workers who claim they were exposed to conditions in South African mines which resulted in them contracting tuberculosis and silicosis have reached a settlement with seven gold mining companies.

About half a million miners are expected to benefit from the settlement under which the seven companies had made provisions in the past year for about 5.0 billion Rand (about 397 million US dollars) which will go towards establishing a trust fund to pay the affected miners.

The companies involved are Harmony Gold, Gold Fields, African Rainbow Minerals, Sibanye-Stillwater, AngloGold Ashanti and Anglo American, which is no longer producing gold.

Lawyers representing the workers confirmed the settlement here Thursday. The gold producers are reported to have set aside the five billion rand for the compensation earlier.

The Legal Resources Centre and law firms Abrahams Kiewitz Inc and Richard Spoor Attorneys represented the miners.

However, the settlement will still need approval by the High Court before being implemented.

The lawsuit was launched six years ago, and the miners affected now want it to be concluded instead of dragging the matter through the courts for years.


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