Desmond Sacco, a distinguished South African businessman and accomplished geologist, is the chairman and managing director at Assore Group, a renowned mining firm specializing in iron ore, manganese, and various ores.
The rich legacy of Assore Group traces back to its inception in 1928 under the leadership of Sacco’s father. In 1992, Sacco assumed leadership, upholding the family’s esteemed mining tradition. In 2014, he secured a spot among Africa’s billionaires with a $1.5-billion net worth.
Noteworthy is the company’s substantial 50 percent stake in Assmang Limited, underscoring its robust presence in the mining sector. Sacco, a member of esteemed institutions such as the Geological Society of South Africa and the Institute of Directors in Southern Africa, brings extensive expertise cultivated since joining the group in 1968.
With holdings comprising approximately 32 percent of the Johannesburg-listed Assore Group, Sacco has played a pivotal role in overseeing seven mines producing chrome, manganese, and iron. This has solidified Assore’s significance in the industry, showcasing Sacco’s commitment to operational excellence.
Under Sacco’s leadership, Assore Group thrives as a key player in the mining sector, marked by strategic investments and operational prowess. Specializing in iron ore, manganese, and various ores, the company is deeply rooted in unwavering community engagement. Sacco’s legacy transcends mere entrepreneurial prowess, symbolizing a commitment to sustainable industry practices.
Billionaires.Africa has identified and cataloged five companies owned by Sacco, showcasing his instrumental role as a major player in South Africa’s business landscape:
- Assore Holdings
Assore Limited, founded in 1950, stands as a stalwart in South African mining, focusing on base minerals and metals. Listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange Limited, Assore’s diversified portfolio includes mining iron, manganese, and chrome ores, alongside other industrial minerals, producing manganese alloys. Sacco, a major player, commands a 32-percent stake in the Johannesburg-listed Assore Group and shares a 50-percent interest in Assmang, a South African mining giant, with billionaire Patrice Motsepe’s Rainbow Minerals. Assore Group extends its reach internationally through Assore International Holdings in England and Wales.
- Gemfields Group Limited
Gemfields, a leading mining firm headquartered in London, is renowned for extracting, refining, and trading colored gemstones such as emeralds and rubies. As a significant global player, Gemfields owns and manages the world’s largest emerald mine, the Kagem Emerald Mine in Zambia, and the Montepuez Ruby Mine in Mozambique. Sacco commands a 12.7-percent stake in this London and Johannesburg stock exchange-listed company, contributing to 25 percent of global emerald production and 50 percent of the ruby supply.
- Assmang Proprietary Limited
Established in 1935, Assmang Proprietary Limited is a South African mining company specializing in manganese and iron ore. Operating in the Black Rock Mining Complex in Khumani and Beeshoek Mines in the Northern Cape Province, Assmang also manufactures manganese alloys at facilities in Cato Ridge, Kwazulu-Natal, and Machadodorp, Mpumalanga. This enterprise is jointly owned and controlled by Assore Limited and African Rainbow Minerals, with each holding a 50 percent stake in the company’s shares.
Under the guidance of Sacco-led Gemfields, Fabergé stands as a prestigious jewelry brand with an exceptional heritage. Gemfields’ ownership of Fabergé enhances the positioning, perception, and consumer awareness of colored gemstones. This strategic move aligns with Gemfields’ overarching “mine and market” vision, elevating its influence in the industry to unprecedented heights over the past five years.
- The Sacco Foundation
Beyond the corporate realm, Sacco extends his impact through The Sacco Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to poverty alleviation, education, and healthcare. The foundation has left an indelible mark by contributing significantly to various causes, including the construction of schools and clinics, and support for small businesses. Additionally, the Gemfields foundation, a subsidiary of The Sacco Foundation, champions free healthcare consultations, the construction of schools and clinics, and support for small businesses. Committed to community upliftment, The Sacco Foundation provides encouragement and support to widows, orphans, and the neglected in society.