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Fraser Survey lists New Brunswick No. 1
February 27, 2012

In its annual survey of mining leaders, the Fraser Institute has found that the Canadian province of New Brunswick is the most attractive jurisdiction for mineral exploration and mine development. It is the second consecutive year that a region in Canada has claimed the top spot. In 2011 Alberta was earned the ranking.

The Fraser Institute surveyed 802 mining exploration and development companies on the investment climate of 93 nations, provinces and states.

Of the 93 jurisdictions the survey covered, Finland, Alberta, Wyoming, Quebec, Saskatchewan, Sweden, Nevada, Ireland, and the Yukon all made it into the top ten. Honduras ranked as the worst jurisdiction for mining exploration and development

“New Brunswick shot to the top of the rankings as miners lauded the province for its fair, transparent, and efficient legal system and consistency in the enforcement and interpretation of existing environmental regulations,” said Fraser Institute international policy research vice president Fred McMahon, who coordinated the survey.

New Brunswick, Ireland and the Yukon replaced Manitoba, Utah and Chile in the top 10 rankings.

Those who were surveyed reported exploration spending of US$6.3 billion in 2011 and US$4.5 billion in 2010.The poll also quizzed the mining leaders on their outlook for metals prices, which showed up as quite bleak, except for gold and silver.

At least 70 percent of respondents were of the opinion that coal, diamond, nickel and zinc prices would either increase by less than 10 percent or decline over the next two years.

Nearly half of those surveyed thought silver prices would either increase by more than 50 percent or between 20 and 50 percent.

The respondents took the biggest shine to gold, with more than half anticipating the price of gold would rise by between 20 and 50 percent.

The bottom 10 scorers were Honduras, Guatemala, Bolivia, Venezuela, India, Philippines, Kyrgyzstan, Ecuador, Indonesia and Vietnam.

This year the survey determined, “The strongest growing commodities in Latin America (Chile) and Africa (Botswana) are perceived to have the lowest level of corruption among developing nations. Even more interestingly, they are perceived to have less corruption that four Canadian provinces (Quebec, Manitoba, British Columbia, and Alberta), and two U.S. states (Montana and Washington).”

“Spain and Poland had the highest levels of corruption among high-income nations, immediately followed by Nunavut and the Northwest Territories, although ... these territories have improved in this survey. ‘Of more concern is the fact that a large number of miners would not invest in these jurisdictions due to worries about corruption around 16 percent for Spain, Poland, and the Northwest Territories, and 8 percent in the case of Nunavut.”

The 10 jurisdictions considered by the survey respondents to be the most corrupt are India, the Philippines, Indonesia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Venezuela, Papua New Guinea, Guatemala, Honduras, Madagascar, and Zimbabwe. The respondents consider Sweden, Norway, Finland, Missouri, Minnesota, Michigan, Idaho, Arizona, Saskatchewan, and South Australia the least corrupt jurisdictions.

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