DRDGold declined to be party to last week’s R5bn out-of-court settlement jointly with six other mining companies, to compensate gold mineworkers affected by lung ailments, opening the smaller gold producer to a prolonged court battle alone. The six companies made history last week by settling SA’s largest and most complex class action case out of court. One of the lawyers representing the litigants, human rights lawyer Richard Spoor, noted that DRDGold and Randgold & Exploration had decided not to participate in the settlement agreement and would be subject to ongoing litigation. DRDGold CEO Niel Pretorius declined to comment on the reasons for staying out of the settlement, saying there was likely to be a litigation process brought against the company and he could not make any remarks at this point. In the company’s most recent annual report, however, the point is raised that it was "not possible" to see what the outcome of the matter would be. Small exposure For a company like DR...

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