Big five gold mines in a joint anti-lung disease campaign


There is power in numbers. That’s the attitude five of the country’s largest gold mines have in the fight against lung disease.
The gold mines have established an industry working group to tackle occupational lung disease (OLD), one of the biggest killers of miners, they said in a joint statement.
The group, which consists of Anglo American SA, AngloGold Ashanti, Gold Fields, Harmony, and Sibanye, would address issues relating to compensation and medical care for OLD within the gold mining industry.
According to the statement, the companies intended to design and implement a comprehensive solution that was fair to past, present, and future gold miners, and sustainable for the sector.
“To this end, the companies are arranging initial meetings with the departments of health, labour and mineral resources, organised labour, legal representatives of claimants, and other mining companies” it said, adding that the companies did not believe that they were liable in respect of the claims brought.
The companies are among respondent companies in a number of lawsuits related to occupational lung disease, and seemed to be illustrating that the formation of the group was not a mere public relations exercise.
“The companies active in gold mining have been working for many years to try to eliminate the incidence of occupational lung disease through improved underground dust management and other measures,” said the statement.

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