Spotlight AngloAmerican: Sustainable Innovation Via Safer, Smarter Mines

March 01, 2021
By Knowledge Leaders Team in Knowledge Leaders

AngloAmerican was founded in 1917 by Ernest Oppenheimer, who moved from Germany to Johannesburg, South Africa, and secured financial backing from J.P. Morgan to start a gold mining business. His first major industry partnership was forged in 1926, when AngloAmerican became a majority stakeholder in the De Beers company. Today the company mines copper, platinum, and nickel–the essential ingredients in smartphones, electric cars and wind turbines–as well as steel, coal, iron ore and diamonds at sites all over the world.

The core of AngloAmerican’s innovation strategy is its “FutureSmart Mining” program, that combines technology, digitization, and sustainability to design what it calls “connected, learning mines.” Using data collected at every step of the process, the firm has found innovation and sustainability go hand in hand. R&D efforts are focused on developing safer and more sustainable natural resource mining techniques that translate in turn to greater precision, lower energy usage and greater productivity. Pilot sites for sustainable waterless mines, for example, are currently being rolled out in Chili, Brazil and South Africa. The firm employs 90,000 people worldwide and aims to be a carbon neutral producer in 2040.

As of 12/31/20, AngloAmerican was not held in the Knowledge Leaders Strategy.

Australia smart mine, credit: AngloAmerican

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