Global mining personality and financier Robert Friedland has singled out Africa and the Arabian Shield as the venues where the world’s future-facing minerals and metals will be responsibly produced. “This is where humanity is going to make it or break it,” he told the Investing in Africa Mining Indaba currently underway in Cape Town, South Africa.
He points out that the large copper mines in Latin America are aging and declining in grade, requiring increasing amounts of fossil-fuel-derived energy to process ever-increasing tonnages to keep up with historical production.
“They’re very low grade, and they produce a lot of global warming gas. They have a lot of work to do to make them green. It’s Africa where you have a young population where you have the possibility for introducing sustainable development,” he said during one of his usual ‘shock and awe’ bravado presentations.
According to Friedland, humanity has mined about 700 million tonnes of copper to date. The problem is the need to mine that same amount in the next 22 years to keep up with the deepening green energy transition.
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