Robert Friedland

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Robert Friedland
Robert Martin Friedland

(1950-08-18) August 18, 1950 (age 72)
Chicago, Illinois, US
EducationReed College (BA)
Known forFounder, Ivanhoe Mines
SpouseDarlene M. Friedland
AwardsCanadian Mining Hall of Fame inductee

Robert Martin Friedland (August 18, 1950)[1] is an American/Canadian billionaire financier in the mining industry. Since the early 1980s, he has specialized in securing funding for the exploration and development of mineral and energy resources and technology ventures. He is the founder and chairman of his private, family-owned firm, Ivanhoe Capital Corporation, which is active in capital markets, focused on emerging markets. He is the founder and co-chairman of Ivanhoe Mines – a Canadian public company listed on the Toronto and OTCQX exchanges.

Early life[edit]

Robert Friedland was born in Chicago, Illinois, the eldest of three children born to immigrant parents Ilona (née Muller) and Albert Friedland.[2] Friedland's father survived three years in Auschwitz while his mother worked as a forced laborer during the Holocaust.[3]


He resigned from Bowdoin College in 1970 after being arrested by federal authorities for the possession of an estimated $100,000 worth of LSD, a crime for which he was sentenced to two years in federal prison, but received early release on probation. He graduated in 1974 from Reed College, Oregon, with a political science degree.[4] His senior year at Reed, Friedland was student body president.[4]

All One Farm[edit]

During his time at Reed he met Steve Jobs with whom he shared an interest in Eastern spirituality. At the time, Friedland served as the caretaker of an apple farm south of Portland that was owned by his millionaire uncle Marcel Muller[5] and Jobs would come on the weekends and help with the apple orchard,[5] which served as the inspiration for the name of his company, Apple Inc.[4] Friedland turned the orchard into a commune called All One Farm. His followers were not paid for working on commercial endeavors there.[5]


Friedland got his start as the CEO of Galactic Resources Ltd. Raising over 300 million USD in investments, he established a gold mine at Summitville, Colorado. Against contractor advice, Friedland decided to implement the relatively new mining technology of heap leaching for the site during the middle of a snowy winter. The sodium cyanide solution used to extract ore soon spilled from the mine as the heap-leach liner collapsed. Carried by heavy rain and snow, the cyanide and other heavy metals contaminated the Alamosa River, causing the deaths of fish as far as 17 miles downstream from the mine. The clean-up of the mine cost the EPA over 100 million dollars, while Galactic Resources soon went bankrupt in 1992. Friedland resigned from his positions at Galactic Resources on the day that the EPA issued their notice to Colorado regulators that they were taking action at Summitville. Claiming to have only based his decisions on mining expert advice and having resigned two years before Galactic Resources went bankrupt, Friedland denied responsibility for the environmental damage to Summitville.[6]

Friedland is currently the executive co-chairman of Ivanhoe Mines Ltd.[7] (IVN: TSX, IVPAF: OTCQX), a Canadian mining company focused on advancing three joint-venture projects in Southern Africa: copper production from a major new mine at the Kamoa-Kakula[7] copper discoveries near Kolwezi in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC); mine development at the Platreef[7] palladium-platinum-nickel-copper-rhodium-gold discovery near Mokopane in South Africa; and the extensive redevelopment and upgrading of the historic Kipushi[7] zinc-copper-germanium-silver mine, also in the DRC. Ivanhoe also is exploring for new copper discoveries on its wholly owned Western Foreland exploration licences in the DRC, near the Kamoa-Kakula Project. The current Ivanhoe Mines was launched in 1993 as African Minerals to pursue mineral interests in Southern Africa. It was renamed Ivanplats Limited in 2011, and then Ivanhoe Mines in 2013.

Friedland also operates Ivanhoe Capital from its corporate headquarters in Singapore – a location that has facilitated his focus on the Asia Pacific region.[8] Ivanhoe Capital has specialized in the provision of venture capital, project financing and related financial services for a roster of international business enterprises since its founding in 1987.[citation needed]. Mr. Friedland was inducted into the Canadian Mining Hall of Fame in 2016 and into the American Hall of Fame in 2021 for his outstanding lifetime achievements advancing the global mineral resources industry.

Friedland was CEO of the original Ivanhoe Mines (now named Turquoise Hill Resources[9] (TRQ: TSX & NYSE)), which he founded as Indochina Goldfields in 1994 and led to a successful initial public offering on the Toronto Stock Exchange in 1996.[10] He was chairman, and later executive chairman, until 2011. Exploration by Ivanhoe Mines since 2000 discovered a chain of copper, gold and silver deposits at Oyu Tolgoi (Turquoise Hill) in Mongolia's South Gobi region. The first phase of what is independently projected to be one of the world's largest porphyry copper and gold mines (Oyu Tolgoi) began commercial production in 2013.[11][12] The original Ivanhoe Mines was renamed Turquoise Hill Resources[9] (TRQ: TSX & NYSE) in 2012. Turquoise Hill Resources is focused on the operation and further development of the Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold mine.

Friedland was the Chairman of Diamond Fields Resources when it was bought out for $4.3 billion[13] by Michael Sopko's INCO for its rich Voisey's Bay development.[14][15][16] The deal earned Friedland a seat on the board of INCO,[17] from which he benefited by Companhia Vale do Rio Doce's 2006 bid for INCO.[18][19][20][21]

Friedland's other corporate leadership positions include or have included:

  • Chief Executive Officer of Ivanhoe Capital Acquisition Corp. (IVAN: NYSE)
  • Co-Chairman, of SK Global / Ivanhoe Pictures [22]
  • Chairman and CEO of High Power Exploration [23]
  • Chairman, Gold X Mining Corp.(GLDX: CVE) [24]
  • Co-Founder, Executive Co-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Ivanhoe Energy Inc.
  • Chairman of Sunwing Holding Corporation.
  • Co-Chairman of Clean TeQ Holdings (CLQ: ASX & TSX) [25]
  • Executive Chairman of Ivanplats Limited.
  • Chairman and Non-Executive Director of Ivanhoe Australia Ltd. (IVA: ASX & TSX).
  • Chairman, Potash One Inc.[26]
  • Founder and Co-Chairman of Diamond Fields Resources Ltd.[27]
  • Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Galactic Resources Ltd.[8]

Personal life[edit]

Robert Friedland holds dual US and Canadian citizenship and is also a resident of Singapore.[28]

He is married to Darlene, and they have three children.[28] His son, Govind Friedland, is a geologist.[29]


  1. ^ "Mining Legend: Robert Friedland". 2021-05-25. Retrieved 2022-12-16.
  2. ^ Bloomberg News: "Ivanhoe CEO Loses in Rio ‘Chess Game’ Over Mongolia Mine" By Christopher Donville and Liezel Hill April 19, 2012
  3. ^ Mines Magazine: "The Rough and Tough of Diamond Mining" By Lisa Marshall January, 2011
  4. ^ a b c Reed Magazine: "Prodigal Son" December 2011
  5. ^ a b c "Steve Jobs, Benjamin Franklin, Einstein by Walter Isaacson" By Walter Isaacson October 24, 2011
  6. ^ Young, Rick; Noyes, Dan (Aug 14, 1994). "The Road to Summitville, a Gold Mining Debacle". The New York Times.
  7. ^ a b c d "Ivanhoe Mines". Ivanhoe Mines.
  8. ^ a b "Welcome to Ivanhoe Capital Website". Ivanhoe Capital Corporation.
  9. ^ a b "Turquoise Hill is expanding its Oyu Tolgoi mine in Mongolia into one of the world's largest copper mines | Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd".
  10. ^ "Friedland Factor Pulls in $310.5 million". Financial Post, Toronto, Canada. 14 June 1996.
  11. ^ "Building Oyu Tolgoi: The Movie".
  12. ^ "AMEC Minproc Technical Report, Oyu Tolgoi Project" (PDF). June 2010.
  13. ^ Castaldo, Joe (15 May 2012). "Why mining entrepreneur Robert Friedland relinquished Ivanhoe". St. Joseph Communications. Canadian Business.
  14. ^ "INCO UPDATE". DOWN TO EARTH. February 1998.
  15. ^ McNish, Jacquie (1998). The Big Score: Robert Friedland, Inco and the Voisey's Bay Hustle. Canada. Doubleday. ISBN 0-385-25758-9.
  16. ^ "Inco Takeover Bid Accepted In Battle for a Huge Mine". New York Times. 4 April 1996.
  17. ^ Webb, Sara (24 June 1996). "Friedland Mines His Successes, Digging Deeper For More Deals". Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Wall Street Journal.
  18. ^ "Brazilian Mining Company to Buy Inco of Canada". New York Times. 25 September 2006.
  19. ^ McNish, Jacquie (24 November 2006). "The great Canadian mining disaster". The Globe and Mail Inc.
  20. ^ "CVRD pays US$ 13.3 billion for the acquisition of Inco". Vale. 26 October 2006.
  21. ^ "Shareholders seal CRVD's takeover of Inco". Reuters. 21 January 2007.
  22. ^ "Principals & Executives | SK Global Entertainment".
  23. ^ "Welcome to High Power Exploration Inc. Website". High Power Exploration Inc.
  24. ^ "Directors – Gold X Mining".
  25. ^ "Robert Friedland – Clean TeQ". 12 May 2021.
  26. ^ "Potash One appoints Robert M. Friedland as Chairman, to assist in securing financing for new Canadian potash production project". Archived from the original on 2012-04-25.
  27. ^ "Diamond Fields Resources: Diamond Fields Resources accepts Inco acquisition proposal". 3 April 1996.
  28. ^ a b "Robert Friedland’s Ivanhoe Mines Announces Updated Economic Assessment for Copper Project in Congo", Jewish Business News, November 24, 2013
  29. ^ Mining Weekly: "Govind Friedland following in father's footsteps" By Matthew Hill February 18, 2011

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Canadian Mining Hall of Fame