Copper, zinc, pgms – Friedland’s got them all in mega quantities – by Lawrence Williams (Mineweb.com – December 3, 2014)

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Robert Friedland’s latest take on his 3 megaprojects in Africa and his forecasts for likely markets are little changed.

LONDON (MINEWEB) – At yesterday’s well attended MineAfrica meeting in London, serial mining entrepreneur Robert Friedland was given virtually unlimited time to close out the day’s talks. He thus spent more than an hour talking delegates through the prospects for platinum group metals, copper and zinc, followed by why one should invest in his company to take advantage of what he sees as a rosy future ahead for the metals sector.

Most of what Friedland said about the metals and his three massive African projects he has said before but nonetheless they are interesting to recount again, with updates, given his remarkable track record in finding mega deposits.

As he is one to tell, his companies found Fort Knox (gold) and then more impressively Voiseys Bay (nickel) and Oyu Tolgoi (copper/gold) although his early near environmental disaster of Summitville (gold) is quietly forgotten. After all he was young then and has since grown older and perhaps wiser – and his almost evangelical speaking presentations have been well polished over the years.

On all the metals he points to global population growth and people’s aspirations to better themselves as being the key drivers for virtually all metals and minerals looking ahead, but particularly for those on which his Ivanhoe Mines company is concentrating.

Platinum group at his massive ultra wide reef good grade Platreef project on South Africa’s Northern Bushveld extension; copper at the again enormous high grade Kamoa copper project in the Democratic Republic of Congo; and zinc (plus copper and a whole host of other byproduct metals) at Kipushi, also in the DRC where grades are reported at almost unheard-of levels in what he describes as the world’s richest mine and his personal favourite project.

But back to his key metals, Friedland is great at understanding both historical and current research and predicting forward trends in the metals, in which he is interested. He peppers his talks with anecdotal factoids to make them stand out to his audience and although we may have heard many of these before in previous presentations they still keep the audience enthralled.

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