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History

1917

Sir Ernest Oppenheimer founds Anglo American. He’d foreseen the potential to invest in gold mining on the East Rand in South Africa and raised £1 million of capital from sources in Britain and the United States, hence the company name. His aim, which remains true today, was to make profits for our stakeholders in a way that makes a real and lasting contribution to the communities where we operate.

1926

We become the largest single shareholder of the now famous South African diamond company De Beers.

1928

We begin negotiations with Dr Hans Merensky, a German geologist who discovered the reef of platinum ores that today makes us the world’s largest platinum producer.

1936

We begin researching uses for low-grade diamonds, marking a first step towards the revolution of synthetic diamond manufacturing.

1947

A New York copywriter for De Beers coins the phrase "A diamond is forever". It is to become one of the most successful advertising slogans ever.

1957

Sir Ernest Oppenheimer dies. His son Harry succeeds him as chairman of De Beers and Anglo American.

1961

We invest in the Hudson Bay Mining and Smelting Company in Canada: our first major venture beyond southern Africa.

1967

We enter the steel industry by acquiring Scaw Metals and, by establishing the Mondi Group, we take a position in the timber, pulp and paper industry.

1969

De Beers Botswana Mining Company (Debswana) is incorporated as a joint venture between the government of Botswana and De Beers.

1973

We open our first office in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

1974

We pioneer the first professionally managed corporate social investment fund in South Africa: the Anglo American Chairman’s Fund.

1975

We bring together our eight South African coalmines into Amcoal (later Anglo Coal), helping South Africa become a major coal exporter.

1980

We begin to build our presence in Chile, through Empresa Minera Mantos Blancos.

1989

We create Zimele, one of the world’s most successful corporate enterprise development programmes in South Africa.

1990

We launch our first HIV/AIDS policy and become one of the first employers in Africa to say no to pre-employment screening for HIV/AIDS.

1994

We begin the biggest black empowerment deal in South African corporate history, splitting Johannesburg Consolidated Investment (JCI) to create new black-owned companies.

1995

We open the Mantoverde copper mine in Chile.

We secure our first coal assets in Latin America.

1998

AngloGold (now AngloGold Ashanti) is formed from the separately listed gold companies in which we had interests.

1999

We merge with Minorco to form Anglo American plc, listed on the London Stock Exchange and with a secondary listing in Johannesburg.

2000

We acquire Shell’s coal assets in Australia, with significant interests in four underground and three open cut mines at five locations: Callide, Capcoal, Moranbah North, Drayton and Dartbrook.

2001

We become founding signatories to the International Council on Mining & Metals’ 10 Principles for Mining and Sustainable Development.

2002

We acquire the Los Bronces and El Soldado copper mines and the Chagres smelter in Chile, becoming the country’s third largest copper producer.

2002

We acquire a major stake in Kumba Resources South Africa, building our position in iron ore. In 2006, Kumba is restructured, becoming Kumba Iron Ore, in which we own c.70%.

2006

Following the success of our Zimele enterprise development scheme, we launch the Emerge programme in Chile to support small and medium sized businesses.

2007

Opening of the eMalahleni Water Treatment Plant, a project we have championed, which converts mine water into drinking water.

2007

We make an initial investment in the Minas-Rio iron ore project in Brazil, subsequently acquiring a 100% interest and a 50% interest in the dedicated export facility.

2008

We win 'new order' mining rights in South African, recognising our progress on black economic empowerment.

2008

We extend our world-leading workplace treatment programme for people infected with HIV/AIDS to cover dependants of employees.

2008

We lead a safety summit for employers and workers in the South African mining industry, helping achieve a breakthrough in safety standards.

2008

De Beers opens its first two mines outside Africa, Snap Lake and Victor mines in Canada.

2012

We increase our stake in De Beers to 85%, by acquiring the Oppenheimer family’s 40% interest. Our partners – the Government of the Republic of Botswana – retain their 15% shareholding.

2014

The Minas-Rio iron ore operation in Brazil comes on stream with the first shipment from the port of Açu.

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