A class-action suit brought against gold producers in SA is likely to be settled "within months" with R9bn going to miners suffering from the fatal lung disease, the chairperson of an industry group said on Wednesday. The suit was launched almost six years ago on behalf of miners suffering from silicosis, a disease contracted by inhaling silica dust in gold mines. Almost all of the claimants are miners from SA and neighbouring countries such as Lesotho, whom critics say were not provided with adequate protection during and even after apartheid rule ended in 1994. "Within a few months we should have a deal … there’s been great progress," Graham Briggs, chairperson of the Working Group on Occupational Lung Disease, said ahead of a presentation on the topic he was to present at Mining Indaba in Cape Town. "The faster we settle, the faster we can pay compensation to those who are entitled to it," he said. The six companies involved are Harmony Gold, Gold Fields, African Rainbow Minerals...

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