By Theodore Shoebat
The major mining tycoon, Robert Friedland, just recently made a statement to discourage investment in Chile copper mining and said that Congo was a much better place to invest in copper mining. He said that Chile was a terrible place to invest due to the violent protests and unrest on the streets. Chile is the world’s largest copper producer. But Friedland wants to end this and for his upcoming copper company in Congo, the Kamoa-Kakula mine, to be the biggest producer of the metal in the world. As we read from a very recent report from LT Pulso:
Chile’s worst civil unrest in decades means that the Democratic Republic of the Congo is a more attractive proposal for mining investment, according to US-Canadian billionaire Robert Friedland.
While Chile, the world’s leading copper producer, seeks measures to quell social unrest that erupted last month, the election of President Felix Tshisekedi earlier this year has improved prospects in the Congo, Friedland said at the Mines and Money conference (Mines and Money) in London this Monday.
Ivanhoe Mines Ltd., founded by Friedland, is developing the second largest copper mining project in the world in the Congo, whose production will begin in 2021.
Chile is now a “terrible place to invest in mining, while Congo is a great place,” he said.
Robert Friedland wants for his copper company to eclipse the biggest mining company in the world, Minera Escondida, whose two open pit copper mines lie on the Atacama Desert. In April of 2019, months before the protests broke out, Friedland exclaimed “we are going to step on Escondida’s heels to see who will be the largest copper producer in the world.” These protests, then, are quite convenient for Friedland, since the protests have been hurting Chilean mining companies. As a Reuters report tells us:
Copper producer Antofagasta Plc (ANTO.L) on Monday doubled its production cut from Chile to about 10,000 tonnes, pointing to a bigger hit from the workers’ protests, and said its mines in the South American country have resumed operations.
Two weeks ago, Antofagasta said the protests could cut its production for the year by about 5,000 tonnes, equivalent to less than 3% of third quarter output, due to delays in supplies and travel disruptions for workers.
The London-listed miner said it now expects annual copper production of 750,000 to 770,000 tonnes compared with a prior forecast of 750,000 to 790,000 tonnes.
Another Reuters report tells us about how the protests — in which workers’ strikes have been taking place — have hurt Escondida:
BHP said its Escondida copper mine, the world’s largest, was operating at a “reduced rate” after union workers walked off the job for part of the day on Tuesday in solidarity with the anti-government protest movement across Chile.
Chile, the world’s top copper producer, has long been one of the region’s most prosperous and stable free-market economies. But entrenched inequality and spiraling costs of living ignited massive, and sometimes violent, protests last week.
Riots, arson and looting have led to at least 18 deaths, resulted in more than 7,000 arrests and caused upwards of $1.4 billion in losses to Chilean businesses.
These protestors think that they are fighting against corruption, when the bottom line is, they are simply helping some corporation and tycoon. One country’s mob is another corporation’s gift.