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DATE: January 19, 2021
SNIP: As developed economies adopt net-zero emissions targets and focus on “green” recovery, metals and minerals may one day supplant oil as the world’s top traded commodity.

The price of many base and precious metals have surged in recent months, but Friedland said those price rises are in part a reflection of a weakening American dollar.

“I think we’ll see higher metals prices, right across the board,” Friedland predicted. “You’ll see that the precious metals are rising against the dollar. And base metals are rising against the dollar. Even iron ore, which is probably the lowest IQ of the metals, has outperformed gold. It’s a fantastic run.”

But actual demand for metals is growing too, driven by “green” recovery stimulus and policies.

Friedland said politicians who talk about transitioning from fossil fuels to low-carbon energy and transportation don’t really understand the magnitude of the transformation they are touting.

“They’re talking about arresting climate change,” Friedland said. “They’re talking about eliminating the burning of coal and hydrocarbons without any idea, really, of what this is actually going to take.”

Greening the grid will be a massive undertaking, requiring new forms of power generation — wind, solar and nuclear — thousands of kilometres of new trasmission lines and power storage — all of which will require a small planet’s worth of copper, iron, cobalt, aluminum, lithium, and rare earths — virtually every kind of mineral and metal found in the earth’s crust.

Given that this greening of the global economy will require virtually every mineral and metal imaginable, it will be very good for mining and exploration companies.”

“And now we’re very excited about the United States,” Friedland said. “We think United States is very under explored. You know, American governments made it sort of toxic to be mining in the United States. Miners were the bad guys.”

“But now even Joe Biden has said he will support the mining of copper in the United States because they know they need it. And there’s a long list of metals the United States Department of Defense wants for America’s national security. And they prefer that those metals be discovered in the United States.”