Fireside Chat with Ivanhoe Mines Robert Friedland at London Indaba

June 26, 2023

London Indaba


By Rob Tyson, Dig Deep – The Mining Podcast

The inaugural London Indaba on “investing in resources and mining in Africa”, has brought together industry leaders, investors, and experts to discuss various aspects of the African mining sector currently taking place 26-27 June at InterContinental London Park Lane, UK. One of the notable speakers at the event was Robert Friedland, a prominent figure in the mining industry known for his expertise in resource exploration and development.

Friedland’s talk at the conference centered around the critical role of copper in the future of energy and the immense potential that Africa holds in terms of resources. He emphasized the growing demand for copper, driven by the rapid adoption of renewable energy technologies, electric vehicles, and infrastructure development worldwide.

Ivanhoe Mines Founder, Executive Director and Co-Chairman, Robert Friedland commented, “We live in a very dangerous moment in the time of our species. There is zero chance that the energy transition will happen without Africa. The fate of humanity is resting on Africa. Impossible for world to go green without African resources.”

Ivanhoe Mines Founder, Executive Director and Co-Chairman, Robert Friedlan

“Africa is blessed with greatest mineral endowment on the planet and has not even begun to be scratched and mining as an enterprise has to be completely utterly and totally reinvented,” said Friedland.

Furthermore, the global shift towards electric mobility is driving an unprecedented need for copper. Electric vehicles use substantially more copper compared to their internal combustion engine counterparts, primarily for wiring, motors, and charging infrastructure. Friedland highlighted the exponential growth potential for copper in this sector alone, with estimates suggesting that electric vehicles could consume three times more copper than traditional automobiles.

Friedland also shed light on Africa’s significant role in the copper supply chain. The continent is home to vast untapped copper deposits, making it a prime destination for exploration and development. He emphasized that Africa’s copper potential is yet to be fully realized and that investment in the region’s mining projects is essential for meeting future demand.

However, Friedland acknowledged that unlocking Africa’s copper potential comes with its own set of challenges. Issues such as political instability, regulatory frameworks, and infrastructure limitations have historically posed obstacles to mining projects in the region. He stressed the need for collaboration between the young people of the African continent, governments, mining companies, and local communities to overcome these challenges and ensure sustainable development.

Friedland expressed optimism about the future of mining in Africa, citing examples of successful projects that have already begun to tap into the continent’s copper wealth. He highlighted the importance of responsible mining practices, including environmental stewardship and community engagement, to ensure long-term benefits for all stakeholders involved.

Robert Friedland’s address at the London Indaba 2023 conference provided valuable insights into the rising demand for copper and Africa’s significant role in meeting that demand. His emphasis on the importance of copper in the energy transition and the untapped potential of African copper reserves highlighted the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead for the mining industry. As the world moves towards a more sustainable future, copper and Africa are poised to play pivotal roles in shaping the global supply chain and meeting the growing demand for this essential metal.

About Robert Friedland

For more than 30 years, Mr. Friedland has been recognized by leaders of the international financial sector and mineral resource industries as an entrepreneurial explorer, technology innovator and company builder. He has successfully developed a portfolio of respected public and private companies whose initiatives have led to several of the world’s most significant mineral discoveries and mine developments, applications of disruptive technologies and contributions to significant economic growth in established and emerging markets in the Asia Pacific Region, Southern Africa, and the Americas. is a proud Media Partner of the 2023 London Indaba currently taking place at InterContinental London Park Lane, London UK.

By Rob Tyson, The Dig Deep Podcast

Dig Deep – The Mining Podcast has been created for the mining industry. New episodes are published regularly – the remit of the podcast is to discuss, educate and talk about industry news and hot topics, company reviews and interviews with mining professionals and leading figures in the mining industry.

You can listen to Rob at

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MiningIR hosts a variety of articles from a range of sources. Our content, while interesting, should not be considered as formal financial advice. Always seek professional guidance and consult a range of sources before investing.
James Hyland, MiningIR