Robert Friedland, billionaire founder and executive co-chair of Ivanhoe Mines (TSX: IVN), criticized lithium mining at a London conference, ridiculed the West’s green energy transition and urged prayer to end the Israel-Hamas war.
Researchers at Ivanhoe start-up Pure Lithium in Boston are going from lithium brine to lithium metal in a step that could radically transform the electric vehicle battery market valued at around US$50 billion a year, Friedland told The Northern Miner’s Canadian Mining Symposium on Friday.
“We’re going to kill this lithium hydroxide and carbonate business,” he told the closing keynote session. “The current generation of batteries is going to be toast. It’s good for another three to four years,” he said. “They’re not going to be made out of the crap that’s being promoted by Canadian junior mining companies. I would short every lithium company.”
Friedland, who made his first fortune from the Voisey’s Bay nickel project in Newfoundland in the 1990s, says Pure Lithium boasts Donald Sadoway, an emeritus professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Stanley Whittingham, the 2019 Nobel laureate for chemistry who’s known as the father of the lithium-ion battery.