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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.


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


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.


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


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.


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


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


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.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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.


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


We open the Mantoverde copper mine in Chile.

We secure our first coal assets in Latin America.


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


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


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.


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


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


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%.


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


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


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.


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


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


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


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


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.


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


Gahcho Kué, the world’s largest new diamond mine in the last 13 years, officially opened in the Northwest Territories (NWT) of Canada.

Real Mining. Real People. Real Difference.