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Friedland’s Ivanplats Plans Toronto IPO for Africa Mines

Ivanhoe Energy CEO Robert Friedland
Robert Friedland, founder and chief executive officer of Ivanhoe Energy Inc. Photographer: Carla Gottgens/Bloomberg

Billionaire mining promoter Robert Friedland’s Ivanplats Ltd. plans to sell shares to the public on the Toronto Stock Exchange to raise funds for the development of platinum, copper and nickel projects in Africa.

Ivanplats, based in Vancouver, has mineral deposits in South Africa and the Democratic Republic of Congo, according to a regulatory filing dated Sept. 10 that was obtained by Bloomberg News. The date of the share sale wasn’t disclosed. Ivanplats may seek to raise about C$300 million ($308 million), according to a person familiar with the matter who declined to be identified because the number hasn’t been published.

Friedland, 62, is moving to take Ivanplats public after relinquishing control of Ivanhoe Mines Ltd., the 66 percent owner of the Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold mine in Mongolia, to London-based Rio Tinto Group in April. Friedland presided over a bidding war between Canadian miners Inco Ltd. and Falconbridge Ltd. for the Voisey’s Bay nickel deposit in 1996. Inco paid C$4.3 billion for the Canadian project.

Friedland, who has a personal fortune estimated by Canadian Business magazine at C$2.81 billion, has an “unparalleled,” more than 20-year track record of finding and developing large metal deposits, according to the filing. He will be chairman of the company.

Congo’s Gecamines

The filing also details Ivanplats’ dealings with a company associated with Dan Gertler, an Israeli investor active in Congo’s mining industry. Ivanplats bought 68 percent of the Kipushi zinc and copper mine from Gertler in November 2011, and has paid him $45 million, with at least $100 million still owing, the filing shows.

Ivanplats will pay Gertler as much as $105 million should it complete a share sale raising $250 million or more by Dec. 14, it said. Should it not complete the share sale by Dec. 14 it’s due to make two repayments to Gertler totaling as much as $105 million by March 31 next year.

Friedland had planned to sell as much as $1 billion of Ivanplats shares, people with knowledge of the situation said in mid-January. Since then, China’s economy has slowed and Europe’s sovereign debt crisis remains unresolved.

Ivanplats controls the Platreef platinum and nickel project, 280 kilometers (175 miles) northeast of Johannesburg in South Africa’s Bushveld mining complex. Trading company Itochu Corp., based in Tokyo, holds a 10 percent stake in Platreef, according to Ivanplats’ website.

Marc Faber

Ivanplats also owns the Kamoa copper project in Congo, which it forecasts will cost about $2 billion to develop. Ivanplats is working toward the completion of an updated preliminary economic assessment during the fourth quarter, according to the filing.

The company’s board of directors includes Cyril Ramaphosa, chairman of Shanduka Group Ltd., and Marc Faber. Lars-Eric Johannson will be chief executive officer, according to the filing.

Bank of Montreal is leading a group of underwriters including Morgan Stanley, Macquarie Group Ltd. and Royal Bank of Canada, according to the document.

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