On the third day of the 2019 Mining Indaba, the conference death rattle began to sound. The crowd was thinner, the high heels were somewhat shorter, and most of the gents have disposed of their neckties altogether. Not Robert Friedland though. The founder and executive co-chair of Ivanhoe Mines was all business as he delivered his key message: mining is not part of the world’s problems — it’s part of the solution. “We are the miners and the world needs us now. If you going to reduce the consumption of petroleum, if you are going to burn less material that creates global warming gas, you’re going to need to come to us,” he says. Like most everyone else at the mega-event taking place in Cape Town this week, Friedland was talking his book — but that doesn’t mean he’s wrong. Ivanhoe Mines has three projects on the go (one in SA and two in the Democratic Republic of Congo) which will produce commodities that are seen as vital components in clean air technologies. And other miners are als...

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