Consolidated Gold Fields
|Rudolph Agnew (Chairman)|
The Company was founded in 1887 and incorporated in London to fund the newly discovered gold reefs in the Transvaal. By 1900 it had already started to diversify outside South Africa. After 1945 it acquired mines in the United States and Australia. Until the 1970s, it was predominantly a mining finance house receiving income from passive investments. In 1970 A.R.O. Williams O.B.E, who was then Managing Director, retired.
After the 1970s it transformed itself into natural resource group concentrating on a relatively small number of minerals. The company had three major wholly owned subsidiaries: ARC Ltd, Gold fields Corporation and ARC America, both in the United States.
Consolidated Gold Fields played a key role in ending apartheid in South Africa; Michael Young, the company's public affairs director embarked on the controversial course of initiating secret discussions between the South African government and the ANC at Mells Park House in the company's estate in Somerset. This ultimately resulted in the release of Nelson Mandela in 1990 and the handover of power to majority rule: the events are described in book The Fall of Apartheid by Robert Harvey and the 2009 television film "Endgame".
Demise of the business
- Monopolies & Mergers Commission Report into potential acquisition of Consolidated Gold Fields by Minorco
- "ARO Williams OBE Obituary". J. Inst South African Mining and Metallurgy: 300. September 1989.
- Gold Miner Weighs South Africa Move New York Times, 14 September 1988
- Judge blocks Minorco's bid for Consolidated Gold Fields New York Times, 25 October 1988
- Briton who helped end South Africa's apartheid The Times, 4 May 2009
- Obituary: Lord Hanson The Times, 3 November 2004