28 April 1880, De Beers Mining Company formed by Cecil Rhodes, Charles Rudd, Robert Dundas Graham and others.
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The De Beers Mining Company was formed on 28 April 1880 by Cecil John Rhodes, Robert Dundas Graham, Charles Rudd, M S Runchman, W Alderson, H W M Dunsmure and P B Jones with a capital of £200 000 in order “to dig for, search for, and win and otherwise obtain diamonds…in the Old De Beers Mine”. In the Trust Deed of the Company, the Head Office is given simply as “at Old De Beers in the district of Kimberley.” Times were tough when the company was in its infancy. “Money was not very plentiful in those days, as is shown by one of the very first cheques of the De Beers Mining Company, which was drawn by Rhodes in his own favour for £5, as an advance against his salary as secretary.” Another mining company owned by Phillipson-Stow, English and Compton would join the De Beers Mining Company in 1881.
At first, the diamond consortium headed by F.S. Phillipson-Stow was the wealthiest of the companies digging in the De Beers mine , but after their takeover by Rhodes in 1880, the De Beers Mining Company became the largest of all the mining companies involved in recovering diamonds from the De Beers Mine. Like all large businesses, the Company had to have offices, workshops, and in the 19th century, stables for horses and other myriad concerns.
P.B. Jones was the engineer employed in 1880 by the De Beers Mining Company, as both Rhodes and Rudd were not technically minded enough for the work entailed in shaft sinking and other matters connected with mining. Rhodes complained bitterly to Rudd about the expenditure incurred by Jones at the time: “We pay for shale out of borrowed money but Jones, good man that he is, makes the money fly. He spends £6000 a month. I’d not complain of him, but still it is the old story these swell men will not work cheaply, and you cannot make them. Jones personally I am extremely fond of, but he piles up the white men and the expenses frightful. I sold £3000 of De Beers myself at 125 for this reason that expenses were awful, and my power with him for checking was nil. There is an explanation for everything but the broad fact remains that he works at double the cost we used to. Defend me from swell engineers…”
The first Directors of the Company were Robert Graham (1880-85), Rudd, Rhodes, William Alderson (1880-83) and H.W.T. Dunsmure (1880-83), followed in 1881 by Robert English, G.W. Compton and F.S. Phillipson-Stow when their company joined forces. Further amalgamations saw Thomas Shiels, Harry Mosenthal, and John Morrogh join the Board in 1886 with Charles Nind joining in 1887. The final four directors before amalgamation with Barney Barnato in 1888 were Alfred Beit, R. Hinrichsen, E. Bruch and Francis Oats.