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Gold miners petition South African appeals court over silicosis decision

A consortium of gold miners with South Africa'sSupreme Court of Appeal for leave to appeal against a class actioncertification decision from the South Gauteng High Court that paved the way forthousands of former and current mineworkers to sue the firms, Fin24 reportedJuly 15.

The miners, which are members of the Occupational LungDisease Working Group, include African Rainbow Minerals Ltd.‚ unit Anglo AmericanSouth Africa, AngloGold AshantiLtd.‚ Gold FieldsLtd., Harmony GoldMining Co. Ltd. and Sibanye Gold Ltd.

In May, the South Gauteng High Court two separate class actionsagainst the gold firms for silicosis and tuberculosis.

"The companies are conscious of concerns that theappeal processes will delay finalization of the matters. The reason they areappealing is because the judgment addresses a number of highly complex andimportant issues," the group was quoted as saying in the report.

The group noted that it prefers a comprehensive settlementover protracted litigation.