Mining Billionaire Robert Friedland Ramps Up Output Of Electric Metals Needed To

This story appears in the August/September 2023 issue of Forbes Magazine. Subscribe

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This story is part of Forbes’ coverage of Singapore’s Richest 2023. See the full list here.

Amid surging demand for electric metals such as copper and nickel, mining tycoon Robert Friedland’s net worth jumped 17% to $2.7 billion. The American founder of Toronto-listed Ivanhoe Mines and New York-listed Ivanhoe Electric is a long-time resident of the city-state from where he also orchestrates his family office investments.


Shares of both companies climbed in the past year on a ramp-up in production aimed at addressing rising demand from producers of renewable energy and electric vehicle makers. Ivanhoe Mines last year increased the capacity of its Kamoa-Kakula copper mines in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) threefold to over 330,000 tonnes, boosting net profit to a record $434 million in 2022 from $45 million the previous year. In partnership with China’s Zijin Mining and the DRC government, it aims to further lift the mine’s annual capacity to over 620,000 tonnes by next year.

Friedland made his fortune from Canadian nickel and is behind massive copper discoveries in Mongolia and the DRC. In 2022, he listed Ivanhoe Electric, which explores across the U.S. for copper, nickel and other metals seen as building blocks for a green economy. In July, Saudi Arabia’s state miner Ma’aden completed the purchase of a 9.9% stake in Ivanhoe Electric for $127.1 million. The two companies plan to jointly develop mining projects in Saudi Arabia.

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