Anglo American South Africa and AngloGold Ashanti have concluded an agreement which resolves fully and finally 4,400 stand-alone silicosis claims – the first of which were instituted in 2012. Included in these claims are approximately 1,200 separate claims which were instituted against AngloGold Ashanti.
A settlement has been reached without admission of liability by AASA or AngloGold Ashanti and the terms of the agreement remain confidential. An amount of up to R464 million will be paid by AASA and AngloGold Ashanti to an independent trust. The trust, administered by trustees, will determine medical and other eligibility and compensation to claimants with the funds available. Compensation will be determined at the discretion of the trustees, and will be based upon the agreed guiding principles set out in the trust deed.
Andile Sangqu, executive head of Anglo American South Africa, said: “We have sympathy for all miners who have contracted silicosis and believe that the agreement to settle this litigation is in the best interests of the plaintiffs, their families, AASA and its wider stakeholders. As AASA, we continue to work with industry, government and civil society to tackle the many challenges of primary and occupational healthcare in South Africa. Our collective objective is to significantly improve the access and quality of care available to South Africans as well as ensuring a healthy and safe working environment for all our employees.”
In November 2014, Anglo American South Africa, AngloGold Ashanti Gold Fields, Harmony and Sibanye Gold announced that they had formed an industry working group which has since been extended to include African Rainbow Minerals, to address issues relating to compensation and medical care for occupational lung disease in the gold mining industry in South Africa. The industry working group is seeking a comprehensive solution to address legacy compensation issues and future legal frameworks that are fair to past, current and future employees.