Orica Celebrates 150th Anniversary

Orica held a 150th Anniversary Gala in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, with officials, customers, partners, retirees and employees on-hand to celebrate this special milestone.

Founded in June 1874, a small company named Jones, Scott and Company emerged to supply explosives to those who sought fortune in the Victorian goldfields in Australia. Quickly expanding, the company merged with Nobel Explosives and later Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI). Dulux meanwhile began supplying paint to the Australian market in 1918 as part of the British Australian Lead Manufacturers (BALM) company, which was partly purchased by ICI in 1928. 

ICI gained majority control in 1947 and 100% control of Dulux in 1986. In 1998, ICI was listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) as Orica and has grown to be one of the world’s leading mining and infrastructure solutions providers with a market capitalization nearing $9 billion.

Reflecting on the company’s rich and impactful history, Orica Chairman Malcolm Broomhead said, “From our explosive beginnings to our global presence in more than 100 countries today, Orica has been an integral part of the Australian and international manufacturing industry, creating products that have transformed everyday life. As we celebrate 150 years, we look back at a story of resilience, innovation, and the unwavering commitment of our people. Over the years, Orica has expanded its footprint, embracing new categories, businesses, capabilities, end markets, and geographies, becoming a multi-billion-dollar global organisation. Orica’s 150th milestone is a testament to the company’s strength, adaptability, and ability to thrive in a constantly evolving business landscape.”

Innovation has been a part of Orica’s DNA since Alfred Nobel’s pioneering days and its commitment to research-led innovation remains unwavering, helping to shape the industry while providing essential support for its people, customers, and communities in which it operates. Some of Orica’s innovations include the creation of Perspex; the build of Australia’s first skyscraper; the world’s first wireless blasting solution WebGen; Exel Neo, the world’s first lead free detonator and most recently, the first blast using low-carbon ammonium nitrate in partnership with Fertiberia.

Orica’s commitment to safety, the environment, and community engagement has been pivotal to its success. Partnering for progress with customers and stakeholders to find solutions to the industry’s biggest challenges and enabling the global transition to a lower carbon future.

This has been achieved while maintaining the enduring company values of safety, respect, collaboration, integrity and excellence.

Today, Orica’s team of more than 12,500 engineers, scientists, technologists, operators, business specialists and on-site crew support customers in surface and underground mines, quarry, construction, tunnelling and oil and gas operations in over 100 countries around the world.

Orica is focused on mobilizing the materials, metals and minerals required to help the global economy grow and transition to net zero emissions, advancing technology and innovation across the mining and infrastructure value chains while accelerating its own decarbonisation with an ambition to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

Orica Managing Director and CEO Sanjeev Gandhi said, “Orica’s legacy is built on the trust our customers and partners place in us, and the talent and innovation of our people. I am incredibly proud of our team and as we step into the future, we will continue to lead the industry with safer, smarter, and more sustainable solutions to help mobilise the resources essential for a better tomorrow. We invite all our stakeholders to join in celebrating this significant occasion, thank them for their ongoing support and look forward to the opportunities that lie ahead in our exciting future, together.”

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