Tuesday, November 20, 2018
Robert Friedland

Robert Friedland

Ivanhoe Mines

NEVER one prone to understatement, Friedland described his Ivanplats platinum mine – which is supposed to start production near Mokopane in 2019 – as the “single largest and most sustainable platinum mine in the world” in his presentation at the 2015 Mining Indaba. He then brought on stage the newly appointed MD of Ivanplats – Patricia Makhesha – a highly qualified businesswoman who comes from Sharpeville, something she emphasised in her presentation on Ivanplats’ BBBEE qualifications, which she claimed were the best in South Africa. This followed on from presentations by Friedland in previous years in which he described Ivanplats in terms designed to be music to ANC ears. His strategy is clear: tell the ANC government exactly what it wants to hear regarding a new mining development. The problem, of course, is that both the platinum and copper prices have continued to slide to which


Mining executives generally do not make the grade as global celebrities, but if they did, Friedland would be at the head of the pack. He makes all the right moves flying around the world in his private jet, hobnobbing with the rich and famous. He also hates the media. He made billions of dollars by hitting paydirt twice – at Voisey’s Bay in Canada and Oyu Tolgoi in Mongolia. According to Forbes, he studied Sanskrit and Buddhism in India after graduating with a political science degree.