Historical Timeline

150 years of Aurubis in pictures and text: The interactive timeline leads you through the company’s historical milestones.

The main events from Aurubis AG’s company history – from the beginnings as Norddeutsche Affinerie in 1866 in Hamburg, to mergers in Germany, to international expansion on the global market in the early 21st century: Click through the decades!

We have published our company chronicle for the 150th anniversary on April 28, 2016. On over 150 pages filled with photos, this book tells the rich history of the company. The PDF can be found here.

Here you can find the the historical timeline which leads you through the company’s historical milestones:


Markus Salomon Beit receives a permit to establish a silver separating and smelting furnace in Hamburg


Founding of Norddeutsche Affinerie as a stock corporation with the participation of Norddeutsche Bank and the Allgemeine Deutsche Kreditanstalt


Commissioning of the copper electrolysis facility developed by Dr. Emil Wohlwill, the first permanently operating facility of its kind in the world


Complete relocation from Elbstrasse to the Peute industrial area


Commissioning of the reverberatory furnace and copper concentrate processing; construction of a sulfuric acid plant using the contact process


Start of around-the-clock continuous casting operation


Commissioning of the first continuous cast wire rod line.
Production start-up of the primary smelter (RWO) after the construction of the flash smelter for copper concentrates and a double absorption contact acid plant to produce sulfuric acid.


Joint venture: NA, HK, mining group Codelco. Founding of Deutsche Giessdraht-Gesellschaft, joint plant in Emmerich.


Development of the energy-saving Contimelt procedure to process blister copper, copper scrap and anode residues into copper anodes


Commissioning of the second technically modified and more powerful wire rod plant.


Start of a large-scale modernization and environmental protection program. In 1985 the city of Hamburg and Norddeutsche Affinerie agreed on a renovation program totaling 130 million DM with the purpose of reducing emissions further.


Commissioning of the new east copper tankhouse (ELWO)


Completion of the electric furnace in the north primary smelter


Expansion of the east copper tankhouse to a capacity of 350,000 t per year


Expansion of capacity of the primary smelter (RWO) to over
700,000 t of concentrate throughput per year


Initial public offering of Norddeutsche Affinerie


Acquisition of the majority of shares in Hüttenwerke Kayser AG in Lünen


Commissioning of the Kayser Recycling Systems (KRS) at the Lünen site: Norddeutsche Affinerie AG is the international forereunner in recycling technology and the world's largest copper recycler.

With the acquisition of Prymetall GmbH & Co. KG and its 50 % stake in Schwermetall Halbzeugwerk GmbH & Co. KG in Stolberg, the value chain is expanded towards the end customer market.


Expansion of the processing capacity of the primary smelter (RWO) by an additional 15 % to 1,150,000 t of concentrate throughput per year


New transshipment and storage system for copper concentrates is inaugurated in Brunsbüttel.

Norddeutsche Affinerie celebrates the 140th anniversary of the corporation's founding.


Norddeutsche Affinerie AG and Cumerio NV/SA ("Cumerio") announce their planned merger to become the leading integrated copper producer and processor in Europe on July 6. Norddeutsche Affinerie submits a public takeover bid for all outstanding Cumerio shares.

The company begins holding a virtual "slice" of the Vattenfall Hamburg/Moorburg power plant.


The new tankhouse hall is inaugurated at the Pirdop (Bulgaria) site. From this point on, 200,000 t of copper cathodes can be produced here annually.

Norddeutsche Affinerie receives EU approval for the merger with Cumerio on August 1. After the squeeze-out phase ends, Norddeutsche Affinerie AG holds 100 % of the Cumerio shares on August 4.


Salzgitter AG holds 25 % of the shares in Aurubis AG as of September 12.

Norddeutsche Affinerie is renamed Aurubis AG on April 1. Most of the subsidiaries also operate under this name at that point. There are 4,800 employees at 12 sites in seven European countries.


The Conform plant is inaugurated at the site in Olen (Belgium). High-quality specialty profiles are produced here.


Aurubis completes the acquisition of the former Luvata Rolled Products Division on September 1. Aurubis now has 16 production sites, four service centers and an expanded sales and distribution system for copper products. The Group is represented in 22 European countries, North America and Asia and has about 6,200 employees.


Commissionining of a facility to draw precious metals from anode slimes in Hamburg


Completion of the production relocation of the copper strip line from Finspång, Sweden, to Zutphen, Netherlands. In total, two slitting lines, two rolling mills and an annealing furnace were moved.


On November 18, 2014, another environmental project was completed at Aurubis Bulgaria in Pirdop: the commissioning of a water treatment plant for all of the plant's production wastewater and the precipitation that falls on the paved surfaces.


In 2016 Aurubis is celebrating its anniversary under the motto "150 Years of the Future".


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