For more than 20 years, international financier Robert Friedland has been a recognized figure among the leaders of the global financial sector and mineral resource industries who have influenced investment decisions and contributed to economic growth in established and emerging markets in Asia, the Asia Pacific Region, Sub-Saharan Africa and the Americas.
Mr.Friedland is Chairman of Ivanhoe Capital Corporation, his family's private company founded in 1987 and now with operations based in Singapore, Beijing and London. Ivanhoe Capital specializes in the provision of venture capital and project financing for international business enterprises, predominantly in the fields of minerals, energy and advanced technology. With his leadership, Ivanhoe executives and more than 15 benefiting, public and private companies that have been affiliated with Ivanhoe Capital have raised a total of more than US$10 billion on world capital markets since 1993. This capital has been invested in more than 30 nations, directed primarily at the discovery and production of mineral and energy resources and the development and application of innovative exploration, processing and communications technologies.
Mr. Friedland also is Executive Chairman, and currently the largest shareholder, of Canada-based Ivanhoe Mines, which he founded in 1994. Mr. Friedland previously served variously as Ivanhoe Mines' Executive Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer during the ensuing 18 years between 1994 and 2012 as the company established itself as a significant miner and explorer in Asia and Asia Pacific and built a large shareholder base through listings on the Toronto, New York and NASDAQ stock exchanges.
Under Mr. Friedland's leadership, Ivanhoe Mines in 2000 began exploration in Mongolia that led to a decade of discoveries revealing a 12.4-kilometre-long (7.7-mile) chain of mineral deposits. Ivanhoe Mines initiated construction of the Oyu Tolgoi mining complex, which began production in January 2013 and is projected to become one of the world's top three copper-gold-silver producers. The company's Australian subsidiary began production of copper and gold in early 2012 at its Osborne operation in northwestern Queensland.
The terms of a 2010 agreement with Mr. Friedland required Rio Tinto to relinquish the Ivanhoe name after Rio Tinto acquired control of Ivanhoe Mines in April 2012.
The Ivanhoe Mines name was held in reserve for a year, until it was adopted by the Board of Directors of Ivanplats and officially replaced the Ivanplats name in August 2013 - a change that restored the Ivanhoe Mines name to active status on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Mr. Friedland founded Ivanplats and as Executive Chairman led Ivanplats' successful initial public offering in October 2012 that raised CDN$306 million (US$308 million) from international investors in what was the largest Canadian IPO since 2010.
The new, and renewed, Ivanhoe Mines now has an initial focus on advancing and developing three major mining projects in Sub-Saharan Africa that were added to the former Ivanplats' portfolio between 2000 and 2011. Two key projects are in the Democratic Republic of Congo: the development of the company's Kamoa copper discovery, an extension of the legendary Central African Copperbelt, and the upgrading of the historic Kipushi zinc-copper mine and development of its large, unmined Big Zinc Deposit. A third key project, the Platreef platinum-palladium-gold-nickel-copper discovery, is on the Northern Limb of the Bushveld Complex in South Africa, where several established mines already produce a combined 79% of the world's annual platinum output.
Mr. Friedland is co-founder and Executive Co-Chairman of Ivanhoe Energy, which is developing heavy-oil projects in Canada and Ecuador and pursuing commercialization of its advanced, proprietary, heavy-oil upgrading technology. He also is Chairman of Sunwing Holding Corporation, the parent company of Ivanhoe Energy's Asia-focused operating subsidiary that produced oil at China's Dagang field until 2012. Ivanhoe Energy is listed on NASDAQ and the Toronto Stock Exchange.
Mr. Friedland co-founded Ivanhoe Pictures, a motion picture and television financing and production company based in Hollywood, California, with offices in Beijing and New York, which was launched in September 2013. Ivanhoe Pictures, chaired by Mr. Friedland, will finance and produce film and television projects that have broad appeal to a global audience. Initially, the company will bridge production opportunities in America and Asia, focusing on China, India, Korea and Japan. Beyond that, the company will pursue English and local-language films in a variety of global markets.
During the 1990s, Mr. Friedland was an initial, key investor in Sina.com, now the largest Chinese-language online infotainment web portal, and Ivanhoe Capital provided the founding venture capital for U.S.-based Sirius Satellite Radio, which went on to build SiriusXM into the world's most successful digital satellite radio service.
In March 2013, Mr. Friedland was presented with the Jury's Award at the Mines and Money Asian Mining Awards ceremony in Hong Kong, which was announced as a unanimous choice recognizing his role in the former Ivanplats' initial public offering in 2012 that raised more than CDN$300 million for the company's projects in the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Africa.
In December 2012, as part of the Outstanding Achievement Awards presented at the London Mines & Money conference, the former Ivanplats was voted the recipient of the Exploration Funding Award in a further acknowledgement of the company's successful initial public offering in October 2012.
In September 2012, the Financial Post Magazine, a national business publication, placed Mr. Friedland on its honour roll of The Most Influential Canadians - citing what it described as his "knack for hurdling seemingly insurmountable challenges to turn dreams into reality".
In March 2012, Mr. Friedland was recognized as Mining Personality of the Year at the inaugural Asia Mining Awards, sponsored by the Mines & Money conference and the Asia Mining Club in Hong Kong, which cited his role in Mongolia's emergence as a major destination for mining investment. Ivanhoe Mines' Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold mining complex was voted Project Development of the Year.
Mr. Friedland received the Dealmaker of the Year Award for Ivanhoe Mines from Australia's Diggers and Dealers Mining Forum in August 2011, which acknowledged the success in "managing some of the more interesting asset development logistics our industry has seen for many years." The citation said the award recognized "the entrepreneurial skills of developing one of the world's major projects (Oyu Tolgoi) while retaining corporate ownership, retaining focus on the end goal as well as unlocking value in ancillary corporate assets (in particular, Ivanhoe Australia)".
In 2009, The Northern Miner publishing group, of Canada, named Mr. Friedland one of Canada's Super Seven Dynamos who have track records of turning junior companies into major success stories. The publishing group also named Mr. Friedland the 2006 Mining Person of the Year for his success in negotiating a strategic partnership with Rio Tinto to develop Ivanhoe Mines' Oyu Tolgoi Project in Mongolia. The Northern Miner said the 2006 partnership was "a defining moment in one of the world's biggest mineral-development success stories of the past decade". It described Mr. Friedland as "a dynamic force for a quarter-century in the minerals industry through a host of private and public-company vehicles".
The Mongolian Government's Foreign Investment and Foreign Trade Agency recognized Mr. Friedland with consecutive Investor Envoy of the Year awards in 2003 and 2002.
In 1996, Mr. Friedland was named Developer of the Year by the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada for his work in establishing and financing companies engaged in mineral exploration and development around the world. As Co-Chairman of Diamond Fields Resources, Mr. Friedland guided the company's development and sale of its major nickel discovery at Voisey's Bay in Newfoundland, Canada, to INCO Ltd. for CDN$4.3 billion in 1996; the INCO mine began production in 2005, is the world's fourth-largest producer and accounts for 30% of Canada's nickel output. Mr. Friedland also led the discovery and sale of Fairbanks Gold's Fort Knox deposit in Alaska to Amax Gold for US$152 million in 1992; owned by international miner Kinross since 1998, Fort Knox has produced more than 5.5 million ounces and has been Alaska's largest gold producer since its start-up in 1996.
Mr. Friedland holds U.S. and Canadian citizenships and resides in Singapore. He graduated from Reed College, in Oregon, USA, in 1974 with an undergraduate degree in political science.