Western Australia Ranked Tops in 2015 for Mineral Investment Attractiveness

Fraser Institute has released the results of its Survey of Mining Companies, 2015, which ranks 109 jurisdictions worldwide for government policies as they relate to mining, mineral potential and attractiveness for mineral investment. The latter category, investment attractiveness, is a composite ranking that takes both government policies and mineral potential into consideration. The survey was released in early March.

The 2015 survey questions were distributed to approximately 3,800 mining industry managers and executives involved in mining exploration, development, and other related activities. A total of 449 responses were received. Companies that participated in the survey reported exploration spending of $2.2 billion in 2015, down from $2.5 billion in 2014.

The 2015 survey identifi ed Western Australia as the most attractive jurisdiction in the world for mining investment, up from fourth place in 2014. Saskatchewan remained in second place. Nevada dropped from fi rst to third. Ireland moved up 10 spots to fourth place. Rounding out the top 10 were Finland, Alaska, Australia’s Northern Territory, Quebec, Utah and South Australia.

At the other end of the scale, the bottom 10 jurisdictions ranked for investment attractiveness included four Argentinian provinces, with La Rioja province ranked last, displacing Venezuela as the least attractive jurisdiction in the world. The complete list of the bottom 10 jurisdictions, beginning with the worst, were La Rioja; Venezuela; Honduras; Greece; Solomon Islands; Chubut, Argentina; Guinea; Kenya; Mendoza, Argentina; and Rio Negro, Argentina.

The survey noted that analysis of regional trends in the results of the Investment Attractiveness Index indicates a stark difference between geographical regions, notably the divide between Australia, Canada, and the United States, and the rest of the world.

The Fraser Institute survey includes numerous quotes from company executives regarding experiences with regulatory issues in individual jurisdictions. Among these comments: “Government management of the Ring of Fire in Ontario was a disaster. It has been 12 years since the original discovery and no sign as to when a development might occur.” – An exploration company president.

“The EPA’s effort to circumvent the law and stop Pebble at all costs has had signifi cant negative ramifi cations on mining development in Alaska.” – A manager for a producing company.

“It has taken more than three years (and counting) to complete an environmental assessment to undertake exploration on U.S. Forest Service land in Idaho, in an area that has been mined for a century.” – An exploration company vice president.

“Next to impossible to even get drilling permits in New Mexico, let alone a mining permit.” – A consulting company president.

“Competition for ground is transparent in Western Australia, and corruption is rare.” – An exploration company director.

“Queensland has granted permission to explore for uranium but refuses to grant mining leases to mine it.” – A president of a producing company.

“Demand for corruption money by offi cials, retroactive taxation, and a lack of infrastructure all act as deterrents to investment in Democratic Republic of Congo.” – A consulting company president.

“The increased taxes imposed on Mexico’s mining industry in the 2014 tax reform are a deterrent to investment. The poor administration of mining concessions and lack of timeliness in processing concession applications has brought early stage exploration to a halt.” – A president of a producing company.

The report totals 85 pages and includes extensive tables and bar charts. It is available as a free download at www. fraserinstitute.org/sites/default/files/ survey-of-mining-companies-2015.pdf

As featured in Womp 2016 Vol 04 - www.womp-int.com