PDAC: Friedland previews ‘Revenge of the Miners’

Renowned mining mogul Robert Friedland took a theatrical approach to introduce his message to PDAC attendees on Monday in Toronto. The Star Wars theme song filled the packed conference room while iconic yellow text scrolled up from the bottom of screens flanking the stage before the Ivanhoe Mines (TSX: IVN) founder and co-chairman delivered his presentation titled, ‘Revenge of the Miners’.

“We made this little parody just to wake you up,” he told attendees at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

Friedland sees world leaders moving toward massive investments aimed at combatting climate change and urban air pollution, which will be a boon to miners producing key metals such as copper, PGMs, nickel and zinc.

“The next thing that governments are going to do, since we’ve already reduced the cost of money to zero, is to get into an orgy of government spending. And most of that government spending will be tied to the environment.”

Friedland says “Green New Deal” schemes proposed by United States presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders and member of congress Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez total US$20 trillion and US$90 trillion, respectively.

“If we get a Green New Deal where bankers just hit the zero keys… it would make our day, all of us in this audience. It would be quite phenomenal.”

Ivanhoe is developing three advanced projects: the Kamoa-Kakula (copper) and Kipushi (zinc-copper) projects in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Platreef (PGMs) project in South Africa.

“January of this year was the hottest January recorded in 141 years,” Friedland says. And urban air pollution is an immediate and growing global concern.

“If the world gets three degrees warmer in the next hundred years, people in Russia or Canada — especially if you live in Winnipeg — might think that’s not such a bad thing. But the urban air pollution is going to get you right now. It’s costing the global economy about US$5 trillion and killing 7 million people a year. It’s a lot more serious than the coronavirus.”

“We’re going to have 6.7 billion people living in cities — or 68% of the global population — in your lifetime.”

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