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Jewish businessman gifting rescued miners

JTA

October 13, 2010 | 9:20 am

Chilean mining executive Leonardo Farkas has written $10,000 checks to each of the 33 miners who are being rescued from a collapsed mine in Chile after being trapped for more than two months.

Farkas reportedly gave the checks in the miners’ names to each of the families and set up a separate fund to collect donations, The Associated Press reported. The money is more than some of the miners earn in a year.

By early Wednesday afternoon Chilean time, 15 miners had been pulled from the San Jose gold and copper mine, where they had been trapped since its collapse on Aug. 5.

Without complications, all the miners are expected to be pulled to freedom by Thursday, according to reports. The Chilean miners reportedly have survived the longest of anyone buried underground.

Farkas, who is Jewish, is a well-known philanthropist in Chile. He appears annually on a telethon run by the major Chilean television networks to raise funds to help children with developmental disabilities. In 2008 he donated about $1.5 million to the cause.

Farkas owns businesses in several industries, with mining comprising the most important of his holdings.

He was sued recently by his Australian partners, accused of inappropriately using company funds for personal charitable donations.

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