(Bloomberg) — Copper is so crucial in electrifying the global economy that finding enough of it has become a national security issue, according to mining magnate Robert Friedland.
Mining companies will have to be “real heroes” and governments will need to accept the industry if the world is to successfully transition to clean energy and transport, said Friedland, founder and co-chairman of Ivanhoe Mines Ltd., which explores and develops mines in Africa.
The world is yet to grasp the scale of disruption in replacing fossil fuels, with most people in urban areas unaware of where materials in everyday life come from, he said.
“It’s all copper, copper, copper, copper, copper, copper,” Friedland told the CRU World Copper Conference on Tuesday.
While the 70-year-old billionaire is taking a long-term view, his words of warning contrast with those of some of his colleagues at the conference who are reluctant to accelerate growth plans in a cyclical market.
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