Anglo American plc

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Anglo American plc
Public limited company
Traded as LSEAAL, JSE: AGL
Industry Metals and Mining

1917 (Johannesburg)
(Anglo American Corporation)

1999 (London)
(Anglo American plc)
Headquarters London/Johannesburg, United Kingdom/South Africa
Area served
Key people
Sir John Parker
(Chairman of the Board)
Mark Cutifani
Products Copper, diamonds, iron ore, metallurgical coal, nickel, platinum and thermal coal
Revenue US$27.073 billion (2014)[2]
US$4.513 billion (2014)[2]
US$(1.524) billion (2014)[2]
Number of employees
Approximately 100,000 (2011)[3]
Subsidiaries De Beers
Tarmac Limited
Lafarge Tarmac (50%)

Anglo American plc is a multinational mining company headquartered in London, United Kingdom. It is the world's largest producer of platinum, with around 40% of world output, and a major producer of diamonds, copper, nickel, iron ore and metallurgical and thermal coal.[3][4] It has operations in Africa, Asia, Australasia, Europe, North America and South America.[5]

Anglo American has a primary listing on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index. It had a market capitalisation of approximately £31.2 billion as of 23 December 2011, the 15th-largest company of any company with a primary listing on the London Stock Exchange.[6] It has a secondary listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.[4]


1917 to 1960[edit]

Sir Ernest Oppenheimer, along with the American bank J.P. Morgan & Co., founded the Anglo American Corporation, a gold mining company, in 1917 with £1 million, raised from UK and US sources, and ultimately derived the name of the company.[7] The AAC became the majority stakeholder in the De Beers company in 1926, a company formerly controlled by Alfred Beit, a fellow Jewish-German emigre of the Oppenheimers. Two years later, the AAC began mining in the Zambian copper belt.

In 1945, the AAC moved into the coal industry by acquiring Coal Estates. Twelve years later, in 1957, Sir Ernest died in Johannesburg and was succeeded by his son, Harry Oppenheimer, who also became chairman of De Beers. In the late 1940s and 1950s, the AAC focused on the development of the Free State goldfields (seven major mines simultaneously) and the Vaal Reefs mine. The success of the mines enabled the company to become the world’s largest gold-mining group.[8]

1960 to 1990[edit]

In 1961, the AAC expanded outside of southern Africa for the first time and became a major investor in the Hudson Bay Mining and Smelting Company in Canada. In 1967, the company moved into the steel industry by acquiring Scaw Metals. From 1967 to 1975, it continued to grow and established a number of ventures, including the Mondi Group (timber, pulp and paper), Amgold (later AngloGold Ashanti) and then Amcoal (through the consolidation of several of its mining operations in South Africa and later known as Anglo Coal and in 2010 changed to Anglo Thermal). In 1982, Harry Oppenheimer retired as chairman of the AAC and was succeeded by Gavin Relly. Two years later, Oppenheimer retired from De Beers and passed the chairmanship to Julian Ogilvie Thompson, who in 1990 also became chairman and chief executive of the AAC.

1990 to 2010[edit]

Anglo American Corporation merged with Minorco on 24 May 1999 to form Anglo American plc with its primary listing on the London Stock Exchange and a secondary listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.[9] Its gold mining operations were spun off into the separate AngloGold corporation, which in 2004 merged with the Ashanti Goldfields Corporation to form AngloGold Ashanti. Anglo American reduced its stake in AngloGold Ashanti to 16.6 percent in 2008[10] and exited the company completely in 2009.

In 2000, Julian Ogilvie Thompson retired as chief executive of Anglo American and was succeeded by Tony Trahar. Ogilvie Thompson also retired as chairman in 2002 and was replaced by Sir Mark Moody-Stuart. In the same year, Anglo American acquired Tarmac, a supplier of building materials,[11] and Shell Petroleum Company’s Australian coal assets[12] In 2001, De Beers was privatised after being a listed company for more than 70 years.[13]

In 2002, South Africa’s Mining Charter was approved[14] and Anglo American and other mining companies with operations in the country were mandated to transfer a percentage of their South African production to historically disadvantaged South Africans.[15] From 2002 to July 2008 Anglo American carried out black community economic empowerment transactions (across all businesses with operations in South Africa) totalling R26 billion.[16] Also, in 2002, Anglo Base Metals acquired the Disputada copper operations in Chile from Exxon Mobil Corporation[17] and opened a representative office in Beijing, China.[18] In 2003, Anglo American acquired a major stake in iron ore producer Kumba Resources.[19]

In 2007, Cynthia Carroll succeeded Tony Trahar, becoming the first non-South African and first female chief executive of Anglo American.[20] The Mondi Group, a paper and packaging business, was also spun out in 2007.[21] During the next two years, Anglo American opened a representative office in New Delhi, India,[22] acquired control of the Michiquillay copper project in northern Peru and the MMX Minas-Rio and Amapa iron ore projects in Brazil[23] and later acquired stakes in the Pebble copper project in Alaska[24] and Foxleigh coal mine in Australia.

2010 to present[edit]

Anglo-American entered into talks in early November 2011, concluding on the 4th. The Oppenheimer family divested their remaining shares of De Beers, whereby Anglo-American acquired an additional 40% stake for $5.1 billion, which increased Anglo-American stake to 85%. This came at a time of increased labour strikes and international attention to Oppenheimer's involvement in blood and conflict diamonds.[25][26] The Oppenheimer family remains the largest shareholder of Anglo-American, however, they have divested their interests in De Beers.

Anglo American Plc. sold a 24.5 percent share in its Chilean copper unit for $5.39 billion to Japan's Mitsubishi Corporation paid with a promissory note which is due on 10 November 2011. With this deal, the Anglo American Sur complex was valued at $22 billion.[27]

In November 2012, Anglo completed the sale of steel maker Scaw South Africa Ltd unit and its connected companies for a total of 3.4 billion rand in cash.[28]

Anglo, in July 2014, said it was disposing of its 50% shareholding in Lafarge Tarmac, a building materials joint venture, to cement maker Lafarge SA for a value of not less than £885 million ($1.5 billion).[29]


The company focuses on natural resources with five core business units: base metals, coal, diamonds, iron ore (or ferrous metals and industries) and platinum. Its operating footprint includes Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America and South America.[30]

Wholly owned subsidiaries include Anglo Base Metals, Anglo Ferrous Metals and Industries, Anglo Thermal and Anglo Industrial Minerals (Tarmac).[31] Partially owned subsidiaries include Copebras (Brazil), Anglo American Platinum Ltd (South Africa) (79.8%)and 70% of Kumba Iron Ore.[31][32][33] The paper and packaging business Mondi Group was spun out in 2007. It also holds 45% of the diamond mining company De Beers.[34] Anglo-American entered into talks in November 2011 with the Oppenheimer family to divest the remaining Oppenheimer share of deBeers, an additional 40% stake for $5.1 billion, which would increase Anglo-American stake to 85%. This came at a time of increased labour strikes and international attention to Oppenheimer`s involvement in blood and conflict diamonds.[35]

In 2008, the company had 105,000 permanent employees and 39,000 contract employees in its managed operations located in 45 countries.[36]

Anglo American's biggest project is the Minas-Rio iron ore project in Brazil; it has faced delays and high costs, but in December 2010 Anglo American gained a key license from the government that would allow work to start.[37][38] Production is initially expected to be 26.5Mt/y; iron ore would be sent through a 525 km slurry pipeline to a port at Açu[39]


In 2008, Anglo American (excluding De Beers) spent $212 million on exploring 21 countries for resources including copper, nickel, niobium phosphates and zinc.[40] The two main types of exploration for the company are Greenfield and Brownfield with nearly 70% devoted to Greenfield projects.[41]

Research and development[edit]

Anglo American, along with De Beers, backed the manufacturing of a Superconducting Quantum Interference Device (SQUID) to help improve the sensitivity of exploration surveys.[42]

Anglo American established Boart Products South Africa Limited in 1936 (later named Boart International) to turn the company’s stockpile of boart, or low-grade natural diamonds, into drilling products.[43] This initiative resulted in the development of the first mechanically set diamond drill bit and later led to additional research into cutting and abrasive tools.[44]

Corporate social responsibility[edit]

Anglo American is a member of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. Additionally, Anglo American committed to support the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative which strengthens governance by improving transparency and accountability in the extractives sector.

A socio economic toolkit originally developed by Anglo American to manage the social aspects of its operational impacts, was released into the public domain for non-profits and other companies to use.[45] The program was commended by the World Business Awards program of the United Nations Development Programme[46]

With a significant number of operations and employees in South Africa, Anglo American faces the HIV/AIDS challenge on a large scale.[47] In response, it runs a workplace program for HIV/AIDS testing and counselling.[48] In 2002, it started to provide antiretroviral drugs for employees with AIDS[49]


In 1977, the company demanded that the paper it owned, Rand Daily Mail, tone down its equal-rights support after exposing the murder of South African activist Steve Biko amid the subsequent government backlash.

In August 2007, the British charity, War on Want, published a report accusing Anglo American of profiting from the abuse of people in the developing countries in which the company operates. According to the charity, "in the Philippines and South Africa, local communities threatened with Anglo American mines have faced severe repression in their fight to stay on their land, while in Ghana and Mali, local communities see little of the huge profits being made by AngloGold Ashanti but suffer from fear and intimidation and from the damaging impact of its mines on their environment, health and livelihoods".[50] Anglo American subsequently published a report[51] responding to War on Want and separately disclosed its safety performance in its most recent annual earnings report,[52] along with immediate measures to address safety concerns[53]

Anglo American was also accused in 2007 of damaging environmental practices: in order to complete its planned Alaskan Pebble Mine in collaboration with Northern Dynasty Minerals, the global mining giant may build a massive dam at the headwaters of the world's largest sockeye salmon fishery, which it would risk obliterating.[54] Opponents are also pointing to the use of cyanide, heavy metals, and acid mine drainage which can all have potentially devastating effects on the pristine environment of the Bristol Bay area. Opponents of the Pebble Mine created Ballot Measure 4 to impose additional water quality standards on new large-scale mines in the state. However, in August 2007, Alaskans voted against the initiative.[55] The Pebble Limited Partnership has not yet put forward a project proposal and is working to prepare a Prefeasibility Study for the project in the second half of 2009.[56] The mine proposal must still undergo environmental studies and the permitting process, including being subject to state and federal water protections[57]

Nunamta Aulukestai (Caretakers of Our Land) and the Renewable Resources Coalition commissioned a report regarding Anglo American and their current and past subsidiaries. The report is written by Philip Mattera, a corporate reporter. The report, released in July 2008, criticises Anglo American for community, worker safety, public health, and environmental problems at their mining operations in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Ghana, Mali, Ireland, and the United States (Nevada) and notes the difference between Anglo's stated corporate goals and their actual corporate performance.[58]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Anglo American appoints Mark Cutifani as Chief Executive". Retrieved 18 July 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c "Preliminary Results 2013". Anglo American plc. Retrieved 15 March 2015. 
  3. ^ a b "At a glance". Anglo American plc. Archived from the original on 7 August 2010. Retrieved 31 August 2010. 
  4. ^ a b "Anglo American Annual Report". Retrieved 15 March 2015. 
  5. ^ "Where we operate". Anglo American plc. Archived from the original on 7 August 2010. Retrieved 31 August 2010. 
  6. ^ "FTSE All-Share Index Ranking". Retrieved 26 December 2011. 
  7. ^ "New Mining Target: Anglo American" C.Noon.21 August 2006; Retrieved 27 May 2008.
  8. ^ "Anglo American"
  9. ^ History Angola American PLC
  10. ^ Anglo American website "AGM 2008 Chief Executive Speech" 15 April 2008
  11. ^ "Tarmac takeover cleared" 1 March 2001. Retrieved 27 May 2009.
  12. ^ Asia Times Online "Shell to shed coal to Anglo American" 2 June 2000. Retrieved 27 May 2009.
  13. ^ New York Times."$17.6 Billion Deal to Make De Beers Private Company" 16 February 2001. Retrieved 27 May 2009.
  14. ^ South "Key empowerment charters" 29 October 2004. Retrieved 27 May 2009
  15. ^ BBC News "South African mines charter welcomed" 10 October 2002. Retrieved 27 May 2009
  16. ^ Mining Weekly "Employment equity next big transformation challenge for Anglo American South Africa – Baum" 8 July 2008. Retrieved 27 May 2009.
  17. ^ Dallas Business Journal "Exxon Mobil completes Chile copper business sale" 13 November 2002. Retrieved 27 May 2009.
  18. ^ Beijing "Getting Down to Business" 26 April 2007. Retrieved 27 May 2009.
  19. ^ Business Report(South Africa)"Anglo's stake in Kumba is now 66.6%" 9 December 2003. Retrieved 27 May 2009.
  20. ^ "Anglo appoints first female head" 24 October 2006. Retrieved 27 May 2009.
  21. ^ Mondi demerger approved by Anglo American shareholders Packaging News, 26 June 2007
  22. ^ "Anglo American Plc keen on Indian tie-ups in mining" China Mining. 7 November 2008. Retrieved 27 May 2009.
  23. ^ "Anglo American's $5.5 Billion Spending Spree" 17 January 2008.Retrieved 27 May 2009.
  24. ^ "Queen Bee" 22 May 2008.Retrieved 27 May 2009.
  25. ^ "Anglo American in $5bn De Beers deal with Oppenheimers". BBC News. 4 November 2011. Retrieved 10 November 2011. 
  26. ^ "Anglo American raises stake in De Beers to 85 pct with $5.1B purchase of Oppenheimer stake". The Washington Post. 4 November 2011. Retrieved 10 November 2011. [dead link]
  27. ^ "Anglo Sells Chile Unit Stake in ‘Bold’ Bid to Thwart Codelco". Bloomberg. 10 November 2011. 
  28. ^ Dolan, David (26 November 2012), Anglo sells Scaw South Africa for $383 million, International: Reuters 
  29. ^ "Mining giant Anglo American to sell stake in Lafarge Tarmac for $1.5 bn". London Mercury. Retrieved 7 July 2014. 
  30. ^ Reuters (2009) Anglo American PLC Accessed 1 June 2009
  31. ^ a b Anglo American corporate website (2009)Anglo American Fact Book 2008/09 Accessed 1 June 2009
  32. ^ Anglo’s Kumba Iron Ore Expects Profit Cut on Prices, Strike Bloomberg, 13 November 2012
  33. ^ Anglo American Platinum taking action to create a sustainable, competitive and profitable platinum business Anglo American, 15 January 2013
  34. ^ Anglo American (2007)History, Corporate website [accessed 21 July 2007]
  35. ^ Anglo American to Pay $5.1 Billion for De Beers Stake, Wall Street Journal Retrieved 4 November 2011
  36. ^ Anglo American Report to Society 2008 (2009)Anglo American Report to Society 2008 Accessed 1 June 2009
  37. ^ "Anglo to start building Brazil mine, gets licence". Reuters. 12 December 2010. Retrieved 12 December 2010. 
  38. ^ "Mining Journal – Anglo secures key environmental permit for Minas-Rio". 12 December 2010. Retrieved 12 December 2010. 
  39. ^ "Project Profiles, Minas-Rio". 12 December 2010. Retrieved 12 December 2010. 
  40. ^ Anglo American Annual Report and Accounts 2008 (2009) Exploration Accessed 1 June 2009
  41. ^ Anglo American corporate website (2009) What we do/exploration Accessed 1 June 2009
  42. ^ African Review of Business and Technology (2007)High definition exploration brings better prospects Accessed 1 June 2009
  43. ^ Advent International(2005)Advent to acquire Boart Longyear from Anglo American Accessed 1 June 2009
  44. ^ Funding Universe Boart Longyear Company Accessed 1 June 2009
  45. ^ "Front Seat Sustainability" 17 July 2008. Retrieved 25 August 2009
  46. ^ "World Business Award winners announced" 2 May 2006.
  47. ^ "One Man's Drive... One Company's Courage" 19 December 2007. Retrieved 25 August 2009.
  48. ^ "Anglo American's AIDS Initiative" 2 December 2005. Retrieved 25 August 2009
  49. ^ "Mining Company to Offer H.I.V. Drugs to Employees" 7 August 2002. Retrieved 25 August 2009
  50. ^ "Anglo American: The Alternative Report". War On Want. Retrieved 15 March 2015. 
  51. ^ Response to Allegations Made in War on Want’s “Anglo American – The Alternative Report” 9 September 2007. Retrieved 25 August 2009
  52. ^ Anglo American Annual Report 2007 Accessed 25 August 2009
  53. ^ "The 100 Most Powerful Women" 30 August 2007. Retrieved 25 August 2009
  54. ^ Vick, Karl. "Alaskans Weigh the Cost of Gold". The Washington Post. Retrieved 27 December 2007. 
  55. ^ "Alaska voters defeat tougher mining rules" MSNBC 28 August 2008. Retrieved 25 August 2009
  56. ^ "Alaska voters validate State’s regulatory framework for mining" 4 September 2008. Retrieved 25 August 2009
  57. ^ "Alaska Chooses Largest Gold Mine Over Clean Water" 29 August 2008. Retrieved 25 August 2009
  58. ^ "Account Suspended". Retrieved 15 March 2015. 

External links[edit]