London and Rhodesian Mining & Land Co Ltd

London and Rhodesian Mining & Land Co Ltd


The London and Rhodesian Mining & Land Co Ltd (Lonrho) was incorporated in 1909. The business began in Rhodesia as mainly a mining and agricultural business. By the 1960’s the company was struggling.

In 1961, Roland Rowlands took on a strategy to transform the company into a worldwide conglomerate. His introduction was introduced to Lonrho through the Honorable Angus Ogilvy, husband to Queen Elizabeth’s cousin, Princess Alexandra, and the director of the company. Ogilvy recruited Rowland, convinced that the 44-year-old mining consultant could turn around the company’s struggles.

Once named a managing director, Rowland moved quickly to expand the company’s interests, using his own portfolio of African holdings as a map for Lonrho’s expansion and diversification. The company’s involvement in mining and ranching was deepened, and forays into automobile and oil distribution were made. Concurrently, the geographic scope of the company was widened considerably until it embraced nearly all of the African continent. Expansion took Lonrho out of Rhodesia, north of the Limpopo River, and into neighboring Malawi, Zambia, Kenya, Zaire, and Tanzania, transforming the company into an African conglomerate without rival.

In 1998, the company split it’s mining activities into Lomin.


  • James Gavin