Essays on International Business History of Randfontein Estate Gold Mining Company Case Study

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The paper "International Business History of Randfontein Estate Gold Mining Company" is a perfect example of a case study on business. There have been numerous studies on businesses and economic development that aim at tabling the history of the world economy through comparing and contrasting the transfer of goods, services as well as technology across borders. These studies have attempted to explain the history of multinational enterprises (MNEs) and free-standing companies (FSCs) as well as compare and contrast the characteristics of these companies. Though most people may consider these two types of companies to be identical, this is not the case.

According to Wilkins (1998), a free-standing company refers to British foreign direct investment whereby a new independent company/unit is set up abroad to carry out similar activities of other companies whose headquarters are in Britain. On the other hand, a multinational enterprise refers to a company that starts its activities at home and then later moves abroad (Wilkins, 1998). Generally, free-standing companies have their origin in Britain whereas multinational enterprises originated in the United States of America. Overview of Randfontein Estates Gold Mining CompanyRandfontein is a mining company in South Africa that operates in the districts of Gauteng, Westonaria, and Roodepoort.

This company was founded in 1889 by J. B Robinson as a gold mining company and in the 1930s it was named as the biggest gold producer in South Africa. The mine is 16KM long from north to south and currently has four shafts namely; Cooke 1, 2 and 3, and Doornkoop (Business Week, 2011). Randfontein Estates Gold Mining Company has for a long time been successful and changed its name to Randfontein Estates Limited in June 1998 (Business Week, 2011).

Additionally, Randfontein Estates was the first company to introduce the mining technology of trackless mining which was made possible by the unique nature of the ore belt. However, in the year 2000, Randfontein Estates Limited was acquired by Harmony Gold Mining Company which is currently ranked fifth worldwide in the gold production business (Business Week, 2011) and has other projects in Australia and Papua New Guinea. The company apart from gold mining was also involved in the treatment of the surface waste materials from the activities of gold mining (Business Week, 2011).


Bloomberg Business Week, 14 Nov. 2011. Metals and mining: Randfontein Estates Ltd. Retrieved from on 1st December 2011.

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Wilkins, M. (1998). The free Standing Company, 1870-1914: an important type of British foreign direct investment. The Economic History Review, New Series, vol. 41, no. 2, pp. 259-282.

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