The Fraser Institute released the results of its Annual Survey of Mining Companies ahead of the PDAC Convention in Toronto, Canada, and Nevada was named the top jurisdiction in the world.
Nevada jumpped from third-place to the top spot for 2018 based on the response of 291 people who completed the survey. Western Australia and Saskatchewan ranked second in and third in the 2018 survey.
The news comes as the mining world is buzzing about about Barrick Gold’s hostile bid to acquire Newmont Mining for $17.8 billion in an all stock deal. Newmont has fended off the offer which would include a number of mines in Nevada.
The rest of the top 10 mining jurisdictions in the world were Western Australia, Saskatchewan, Quebec, Alaska, Chile, Utah, Arizona, Yukon and Northwest Territories. Finland, which was the top mining jurisdiction in 2017, dropped to 17th place.
The five worst mining jurisdictions were Venezuela, followed by Neuquen, Nicaragua and Guatemala and Panama.
Looking at countries as a whole, Canada earned the top spot for the second consecutive year, followed by Australian with the U.S. coming in third and Europe in fourth place.
“The evidence is clear—mineral deposits alone are not enough to attract precious commodity investment dollars,” said Ashley Stedman, a senior policy analyst at the Fraser Institute and study co-author, said in a press release. “A sound regulatory regime coupled with competitive fiscal policies is key to making a jurisdiction attractive in the eyes of mining investors.”
The report noted that investment attractiveness improved in most regions around the world, compared to a drop in sentiment reported last year.
Turning back to Nevada, the state’s growth potential in Nevada was a significant reason for Barrick Gold’s unsolicited hostile bid for Newmont Mining earlier in the week.
“The combination of Barrick and Newmont will create what is clearly the world’s best gold company, with the largest portfolio of Tier One gold assets,” Barrick Chief Executive Officer Mark Bristow said in a recent a statement regarding the company’s proposal. “Most importantly, it will enable us to consider our Nevada assets as one complex.”
To sell his proposal, Bristow also said that potential synergies between the two companies’ Nevada operations would generate as much as $7 billion in shareholder value. Newmont has 19 mines in the state, adjacent to Barrick’s own operations.
Newmont has rejected the proposal, which was made below the company’s current market value. Company CEO Gary Goldberg said that they see better value in pursuing their proposed merger with Goldcorp.