By Graziella DiNuzzo
Fred Winter recalls living in tents and trailers in various South African countries like Angola, Congo, Mozambique, Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and of course South Africa as the most developed and richest mining country with many other mining engineers from all over Europe.
“I was recruited by the South African Bureau of Mines who did exploration work for the largest mining corporation in the world like Anglo-American, Anglo Vaal, BHP, Rio Tinto etc. After a number of years I was hired by Siemens AG to sell electro equipment to the various mining companies. I left my home in Germany as a young man to work alongside miners who excavated metal, minerals and concentrates from open pit and underground mines. We worked down in the mines for minerals about 2 miles underground. The most interesting mines were the platinum mines on the Highveld which are up to more than 1.5 miles underground. It was an interesting and volatile time, but I got along well with the miners from all over the world and the predominant local work force.”
As a newly arrived immigrant in the U.S., Fred continued his career as a geologist and engineer and would one day stumble upon an opportunity. He attended an auction in 1983 and bought the assets of a metal processing company in Camden, New Jersey and started F.W. Winter Inc. & Co.