The son of serially successful (and controversial) mining magnate Robert Friedland, Govind was born and bred into the business. Smart, aggressive, charismatic, and driven, he has a degree in geology and geological engineering from the prestigious Colorado School of Mines, and has worked for his father’s company, Ivanhoe Mines, and for Kiewit Pacific. In 2006, he formed Govi High-Power Exploration, with interests in uranium and gold. Within a year, Govind had raised approximately C$100 million, to finance explorations and acquisitions, and to fund other GoviEx corporate initiatives. Displaying the same astute business sense that characterizes his father, Govind makes sure he’s a step ahead of the crowd. Thus a few years back, when Niger appeared on miners’ radar as the next frontier for uranium, GoviEx was already there. The company had staked out vast swaths of exploration land in the Arlit Basin, where French conglomerate Areva was producing. First Govind struck a deal to take over Semafo’s uranium assets in the West African country; in exchange, Semafo took a 12% stake in GoviEx. This brought the bigger companies knocking, and six months later Cameco (T.CCO), the world’s second-largest uranium producer, shelled out US$28 million for an 11% stake in GoviEx. Govind is working towards a public listing for GoviEx. According to a preliminary economic assessment prepared late 2010, the company’s Madaouela project could produce 2.7 million lbs. of U3O8 annually given a capital investment of $218 million. And Govind aims to more than double the resources at Madaouela, which currently stand at nearly 70 million indicated and inferred pounds. He may have inherited some mining genes, not to mention the best rolodex in the industry, but Govind Friedland is his own man, with the education, experience, and savvy to prove that he isn’t just riding his father’s coattails.