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100 years of Anglo American

In 2017, Anglo American is marking a significant milestone: 100 years of operation. Our official birthday is 25 September and we’ll be holding celebrations in the countries where we operate. 

Our centenary gives us the opportunity to look back at the history and heritage that has shaped us since 1917 when our founder, Ernest Oppenheimer, secured funding from the United States and the UK to launch the business.

A time to reflect

As we look at our journey so far, we reflect on what makes us different today as well as looking ahead at how we will create a sustainable future as partners with our communities, employees and shareholders.

We’ve uncovered some interesting facts and fascinating photographs of Anglo American over the past century; you can explore them all in our interactive timeline and hear from some of our current and former employees as they help us celebrate this important milestone.

Key milestones from the last 100 years

  • In 1917, entrepreneur Ernest Oppenheimer established Anglo American.
  • In 1926, we became the largest single shareholder in De Beers Consolidated Mines, a prosperous association that was cemented in 1929 when Sir Ernest became chairman of De Beers.
  • In 1954, Ernest Oppenheimer established our long-term vision: “The aims of this Group are, and will remain, to make profits for our shareholders, but to do so in such a way as to make a real and lasting contribution to the communities in which we operate.” It is a philosophy that is embedded in our DNA to this day.
  • In 1961, an investment in the Hudson Bay Mining and Smelting Company in Canada marked our first significant mining investment beyond Southern Africa, expanding our partnerships, portfolio and production in zinc, copper and precious metals.
  • In 1973, we opened an office in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, making our first move into South America. This marked the start of new business interests, which would to lead to gold, nickel, niobium and phosphates, and iron ore operations across Brazil.
  • In 1980, successful joint ventures in South America saw us expand into Chile through Empresa Minera Mantos Blancos. These groundbreaking new relationships opened up a new world of opportunity in copper.

You can discover more milestones and stories from our people in our timeline, by clicking below.

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