Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Anglo American International

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International mining group

1917 Ernest Oppenheimer established Anglo American.

1920 Established the Consolidated Diamond Mines of South West Africa through the financing and merger of alluvial diamond fields in the south of the country

1924 Partner in the development of Bwana M’Kubwa, on the lucrative Copperbelt in Zambia (then Northern Rhodesia).

1926 Development and expansion of the East Rand gold mines

1926 Anglo American became the largest single shareholder in De Beers Consolidated Mines

1927 Diversified into copper, developing the N’kana mine in Zambia. De Beers expanded its operations into both the North West and Northern Cape provinces, to exploit the Lichtenburg and Namaqualand diamond discoveries.

1928 Established a partnership in Platinum group metals with the discoverer of the South African reef, Hans Merensky; this became Johannesburg Consolidated Investments, which eventually evolved into Anglo American Platinum.

1929 Sir Ernest Oppenheimer became chairman of De Beers.

1930 Formed partnership with the British South Africa Co (BSAC) to open up a wide range of agricultural, mining and commercial interests from Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) to Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia).

1932 The N’kana mine came into production, since when it has produce more than 6 million tonnes of copper.

1934 De Beers established the Diamond Trading Co (DTC) to market rough diamonds in London and Kimberley.

1936 Established Boart International to develop ways of using previously discarded inferior quality diamonds in drilling equipment. This evolved into a completely new branch of manufacturing for Anglo American.

1944 Formed Vaal Reefs Exploration and Mining Company which operated what became the world’s biggest gold mine.

1945 Entered coal mining activity

1953 Opened first Uranium mine

1961 First significant mining investment outside Southern Africa - invested in the Hudson Bay Mining and Smelting Company in Canada

1967 Established Mondi to enter the timber, pulp and packaging industry

1980s Started investing in South America, including Chile and Peru.

1998 All the separately listed gold interests were brought together into one independent company – AngloGold (later, AngloGold Ashanti).

1999 Anglo American South Africa and Minorco were merged to form Anglo American plc, with its primary listing in London.

1999 Acquired the Tarmac building materials business.

2000 Continued to own 38 percent of De Beers; increased profits mainly due to higher diamond and platinum prices[1]

2004 Developed a new cement plant in Buxton, UK, extending the industrial minerals business

2009 Sold the final stake in AngloGold Ashanti ending the company's investment in gold.

2010 The Tarmac business was separated into Tarmac Limited and Tarmac Building Products.

2013 Anglo American merged Tarmac Limited with the United Kingdom assets of Lafarge forming a 50:50 joint venture, Lafarge Tarmac which later became Tarmac Building Products

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Times, March 23, 2000
  • [1] Anglo American