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Lukas Lundin (Anthony Jenkins/The Globe and Mail)
Lukas Lundin (Anthony Jenkins/The Globe and Mail)

The Lunch

Lukas Lundin looks to the summit of base metals Add to ...

Many believe the family's achievements come from having the guts to go into isolated areas of the globe where others fear to tread. Some of that fearlessness comes from the fact the family has lived in so many foreign countries. Mr. Lundin was born in Stockholm in July 1958, but three weeks later his family moved to Colombia. He also lived in Portugal, Switzerland, the United States, Egypt and Dubai before settling in Vancouver 22 years ago.

Asked if there is a country where he wouldn't set up shop, Mr. Lundin is quick to name just one: China, the world's largest consumer of the resources his companies produce. "China is for the Chinese," he says, meaning that the country's isn't very open to foreign investors. That said, he is of course always open to selling them product. He also referred to Russia as "hard work," as a place to do business.

While there may be some limits to where Mr. Lundin will go, his reputation remains strong as a risk taker, both in and out of the boardroom. Off hours, he participates in extreme skiing and has driven his motorcycle in the famous Dakar off-road race. Later this month, Mr. Lundin plans to take a motorcycle trip across Cuba with fellow Vancouver-based mining executive Ross Beaty. This past Christmas, the divorced father hiked Mount Kilimanjaro, for the fourth time, with his four sons aged 17 to 25.

While he certainly has the money to retire at any time, Mr. Lundin doesn't see that happening soon, maybe ever. "I really enjoy my life. I do what I want. I am a very lucky man." Besides, he says, if he retired, "what would I do with myself?"

As well as his time, Mr. Lundin is also generous with his money. He has donated millions to organizations such as the University of British Columbia and the B.C. Museum of Mining. Much of his philanthropic work (which he has hired someone to oversee) is through Lundin for Africa, which provides non-repayable grants and venture capital investments in parts of west and central Africa to help the poor set up and sustain farms and other small businesses. Still, Mr. Lundin acknowledges he isn't as driven by giving money as he is by making it.

"It's very hard to give money," he says. The problem, he believes, is that people don't want just a handout. "You have to empower them somehow … They have to feel entitled because they have to help themselves."

Where Mr. Lundin feels he really gives back, though, is through discovering and building mines, which spurs economic development.

"The best way I can help is to go to the Congo, build a big copper mine. It employs 5,000 people. That helps another 50,000 people. That's the stuff I can do," he says.

While he doesn't mention it, Mr. Lundin also benefits if the mine is a success, as does his shareholders. That gives the deal-hungry miner the fix he needs to find another project, and do it all over again.

______

Curriculum VITAE

Beginnings

- Born Lukas Henrik Lundin in July, 1958, in Stockholm

- Eldest son of Adolf Lundin, founder of the Lundin Group of Companies, and Eva Wehtje

- Also lived in Portugal, Switzerland, United States, Egypt and Dubai

Family life

- Has a brother, Ian and two sisters, Mona and Nicola

- Lives in Vancouver. He is divorced and has four sons aged 17 to 25

Early years

- Educated at École Internationale de Genève in Switzerland.

- Graduated from the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology in 1981

Career highlights

- At age 25, headed International Petroleum Corp.'s international operations out of Dubai

- From 1990 to June, 1995, was president of International Musto Exploration Ltd., overseeing acquisition of Bajo de la Alumbrera deposit in Argentina, which he then sold for $500-million and is now one of the largest gold/copper producers in the world.

- Also responsible for Argentina Gold and the discovery of the multimillion-ounce Veladero gold deposit, now owned by Barrick Gold Corp.

- Founded Lundin Mining Corp. and led its merger with EuroZinc Mining in 2006 and marshalling January's month's proposed merger with Inmet Mining Corp.

Other interests

- Sits on board of a number of companies under the Lundin Group umbrella, as well as on the board of Kinross Gold Corp. after its acquisition of Red Back Mining in September, 2010, where he was chairman

- participates in extreme skiing and has driven his motorcycle in the famous Dakar off-road race

- hiked Mount Kilimanjaro for fourth time with his four sons aged 17 to 25

- has donated millions to groups including UBC and B.C. Museum of Mining, and founded Lundin for Africa to provide non-repayable grants and venture capital investments in parts of west and central Africa to help the poor set up and sustain farms and other small businesses

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