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Minas Gerais is the Brazilian state with the highest reported number of silicosis, much of which originated from gold mining industry. The objective was to analyse the temporal occurrence of silicosis in gold mining identifying occupational factors related it.Cross-sectional study with 1022 former gold miners workers of Nova Lima (MG), conducted between 1995 and 2011.Silicosis was diagnosed in 20.1% of the workers none of whom worked on the surface. Those who have worked in underground for up to 5 years had 4.4% prevalence in contrast to those with more than 20 years, whose prevalence was 35.8%. Among those who started work in underground until the 1950 the disease had a prevalence of 73.3% while among those that started after 1990 no cases were identified.It have occurred a significant drop in the incidence of silicosis in gold mining. The disease is known to be dose-dependent so is expected the decrease in the number of cases by improvements in work environments. It is essential that measures continue to be implemented in all fields of activity with exposure to silica to decrease the number of cases.