The current lithium frenzy will end badly while gold bugs should look at the riper opportunities available in copper and platinum, according to mining financier Robert Friedland.
In a sprawling, exuberant and at times politically incorrect speech at the Mines and Money Americas conference in Toronto, the veteran promoter demonstrated he hasn’t lost his sales mojo as he ticked off all the reasons why the properties owned by his Ivanhoe Mines Ltd. just happen to be ideally positioned for the next wave of automotive technology.
“I’m not here to depress the gold bugs in the room, but to get you excited about copper and other metals that we need in our new society,” he said as he accepted a lifetime achievement award.
Mr. Friedland made his first fortune with the Voisey’s Bay nickel deposit in Labrador, which he sold to Inco for $3.4-billion in 1996. Later, he oversaw discovery of the massive Oyu Tolgoi copper deposit in Mongolia, now controlled by Rio Tinto PLC.
He launched Ivanhoe Mines in 2000 and continues to serve as chairman of the Vancouver-based company, which is developing properties that include the Platreef platinum and palladium project in South Africa and the Kamoa copper project in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
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