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British South Africa Company

The British South Africa Company (BSAC or BSACo) was chartered in 1889 following the amalgamation of Cecil Rhodes' Central Search Association and the London-based Exploring Company Ltd, which had originally competed to capitalize on the expected mineral wealth of Mashonaland but united because of common economic interests and to secure British government backing. The company received a Royal Charter modelled on that of the British East India Company. It administered Southern Rhodesia until 1923 and Northern Rhodesia until 1924. It claimed extensive landholdings and mineral rights in both territories, which were progressively bought out by 1964. It created the Rhodesian railway system and owned the railways there until 1947.