Another investment rule. If you have heard the start of the story before, check out the previous ending as a predictor of future outcomes.
I am prompted to formulate this rather silly, but profound, rule by a report from London:
Speaking to a packed audience at the at the World Mining Investment Congress in London, Tuesday, charismatic mining entrepreneur Robert Friedland, Executive Chairman of Ivanhoe Mines (TSX: IVN) treated the audience to his views on global warming, the future of the mining sector and the company’s huge Mongolian copper/gold and coal projects.
Mr. Friedland mentioned interaction with the Mongolian prime minister and Mongolian politics that appear to be impeding permitting and mine development. Certainly he is optimistic about the need for the mine and its products:
On global warming his views are that it is most likely a natural and unstoppable occurrence with such climate swings happening many times in the past, but in all likelihood this time it is being exacerbated by human activity. And he sees this as a huge opportunity for the mining sector - notably in terms of demand for copper and energy products. He feels the way forward is nuclear power and clean coal generated electricity and that his principal company, Ivanhoe Mines, is particularly well placed to meet some of the needs for this. On the copper front he pointed to the rapid increase in output of hybrid cars, which require copper as the best conducting metal known (apart from gold and silver which are too expensive) and the need for ever increasing power distribution networks as the world moves to clean power.
The funny thing about this report is that I heard the exact same speech (give or take a little) about a year ago in Vancouver. Nothing has changed. There is not even any greater agreement about the causes of climate change than there was back then. And certainly Mongolian politics are as opaque as ever. And Mr. Friedland is as optimistic as ever.
The other part of this story that we have heard before is Mr. Friedland and his mining ventures. It happened before I began writing about mining, by I am told the story is long and involved and cost the USA taxpayers a lot of money. You can easily get hundreds of opinions via Google by searching out his name and companies. You will have to decide for yourself whether his new foreign venture is likely to make you money or loose you money.
All I can say having seen the guy in action is that indeed he is charismatic, energetic, enthusiastic, and idealistic. He has a concept that is appealing, partners who are powerful, and an ore body of promise. The part that will make or break his making you money is, as always, the politics of the host country. But then the USA did him pretty good. Except that the American fell he felled them. But he did make money for his investors.