SANTIAGO, Chile The rise
of megacities is driving up copper consumption, but existing
mines wont be enough to meet demand, according to Robert
Friedland, executive chairman and founder of Ivanplats Ltd.
Many existing copper mines are
deteriorating like "little old ladies lying in bed waiting to
die," Friedland said at the 12th World Copper Conference in
Santiago, making high-quality new projects all the more
Many accoutrements of modern
life require copper, he said, noting that the average phone
contains about 0.5 ounce of the red metal, the average car uses
50 pounds, the average hybrid vehicle contains 100 pounds and
buses, streetcars and subway cars each use about 2,300 pounds
Meanwhile, global electricity
use is projected to rise 70 percent between 2010 and 2035, and
the United Nations has set a goal of ensuring universal access
to modern energy sources by 2030, Friedland said.
The Vancouver, British
Columbia-based company is working on the largest undeveloped
copper mine in the world, the Kamoa project in the Democratic
Republic of the Congo (DRC), in order to meet growing demand.
"Kamoa bypassed Tenke Fungurume like a blowtorch through tissue
paper," Friedland said, referring to Phoenix-based
Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Golds Inc.s mine in
the DRCs Katanga province.
Kamoas cash costs are
expected to average 95 cents per pound over the first 10
The project will make use of a
Chinese-built electrified railway connecting the DRC to Angola,
which will be completed this year, Friedland said.