Consolidated Gold Fields

Consolidated Gold Fields
Consolidated Gold Fields
Former type Public
Industry Mining
Fate Acquired
Successor Hanson plc
Founded 1887
Defunct 1988
Headquarters London, UK
Key people Rudolph Agnew (Chairman)

Consolidated Gold Fields was a British gold-mining company. It was listed on the London Stock Exchange and was once a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index but was acquired by Hanson plc in 1988.



The Company was founded in 1887 and incorporated in London to fund the newly discovered gold reefs in the Transvaal.[1] By 1900 it had already started to diversify outside South Africa.[1] After 1945 it acquired mines in the United States and Australia.[1] Until the 1970s, it was predominanltly a mining finance house receiving income from passive investments. After the 1970s it transformed itself into natural resource group concentrating on a relatively small number of minerals.[1] The company had three major wholly owned subsidiaries: ARC Ltd, Gold fields Corporation and ARC America, both in the United States.[1]

By the late 1980s it was considering withdrawing from South Africa completely.[2] It was then the subject of an acrimonious, hostile and unsuccessful take-over bid by Minorco early in 1988.[3]

Consoldidated 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 the company's estate in Somerset, Mells Park House. This ultimately resulted in the release of Nelson Mandela in 1990 and the handover of power to majority rule: the events are described in the 2009 television film "Endgame".[4]

Demise of the business

The Company was acquired by Hanson plc in 1988 for £3.5bn.[5]


Further reading

  • Heslop, Philip Consolidated Gold Fields plc: investigation under Section 442 of the Companies Act 1985, The Stationery Office, 1994, ISBN 9780115153921

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