Base Metals

Robert Friedland: Copper is the EV Story, Demand to Rise 900 Percent

Base Metals

The dreams of EV makers are not going to become a reality without copper, nickel, lithium and cobalt among other metals, according to Friedland. 

Robert Friedland, founder and executive chairman of Ivanhoe Mines (TSX:IVN,OTCQX:IVPAF), believes the green energy future will see copper demand rise 900 percent in the coming years.

Speaking at Red Cloud’s pre-Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada event in Toronto, Friedland highlighted the need for metals that will enable the energy revolution and electrification of the world, such as copper, lithium, nickel and cobalt.

According to Friedland, by 2030 the Earth’s population will reach 8.5 billion, with at least 5 billion people living in urban areas. As the population grows, the need for quality clean air will increase.

Without getting into a debate on climate change, Friedland pointed to the fact that this past January was the hottest recorded since humanity has had reliable methods to measure temperatures.

“The environment is the most convenient and attractive political excuse for governments to go crazy,” he said. “They are going to electrify everything, and the benefit of this is that certain junior miners that find some elements in the periodic table are going to win — and others are going to lose.”

Friedland mentioned that nine out of 10 people in the world are breathing polluted air, with some studies showing that it is killing more people than smoking, wars and AIDs combined.

“The face mask market is now a US$4 billion dollar market,” he added.

Speaking about dealing with global warming, Friedland said it is important to understand supply chains.

“The world is going to have to invest approximately US$240 billion in the next five years as governments get into these stimulus programs,” he said. “Governments don’t get it, but they have declared the end of the internal combustion engine.”

The founder of Ivanhoe mentioned how major miners are divesting coal assets or looking for ways to reduce emissions, while carmakers such as Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) and Volkswagen (OTC Pink:VLKAF,FWB:VOW) continue to make announcements about upcoming electric car models, which are expected to number 230 by 2021.

But electric vehicles (EVs) and the dreams of Tesla’s Elon Musk and others are not going to become a reality without copper, nickel, lithium and cobalt among other metals, Friedland pointed out.

“Copper demand for EVs should increase 900 percent,” he said, adding that the batteries in Teslas are very high in nickel and dense in cobalt. “If there’s one metal that is going to benefit from all the electrification it’s nickel.”

Touching on the deadly coronavirus, Friedland talked about a company that has announced a face mask that can kill 100 percent of the coronavirus and bacteria; the mask uses zinc oxide and copper oxide.

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Securities Disclosure: I, Priscila Barrera, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

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