In its annual survey of the attractiveness of mining jurisdictions around the world, The Fraser Institute ranked Finland as the top spot for 2017 for mining investment.
The Fraser Institute has released its Annual Survey of Mining Companies 2017, which is an attempt to assess how mineral endowments and public policy factors can affect exploration investment.
Based on the Investment Attractiveness Index, Finland beat out Canada and Australia and moved up from fifth place in 2016. Saskatchewan, Canada experienced a slight drop in its score in 2017 so dropped into second place after ranking first in the previous year.
In the United States, Nevada was ranked the top jurisdiction as it moved up from fourth in 2016 to third in 2017. The Republic of Ireland ranked 4th this year, and Western Australia dropped from third in 2016 to fifth in 2017. Rounding out the top 10 are Quebec, Ontario, Chile, Arizona, and Alaska.
“Rich mineral reserves, competitive taxes, efficient permitting procedures and certainty around environmental regulations will still attract significant investment— even with slumping commodity prices,” said Kenneth Green, senior director of the Fraser Institute’s energy and natural resource studies.
But despite the increase in jurisdictions such as Finland and Ireland, overall the general attractiveness of the industry’s investment had fallen.
In Australia, every jurisdiction received lower scores, indicating increasingly unattractive government regulations across the country.
The Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) interim chief executive David Byers responded to survey, saying, “It is alarming to note that some Australian states are only just ahead of tiny African nations like Burkina Faso in perceptions of government policy that influence mining exploration investment,” he said.
“Australia’s world-class mining sector is handicapped by over-regulation, red tape and duplicated environmental laws across most jurisdictions — all of which limits job creation and prosperity, especially in regional communities.”
Western Australia ranked fifth overall, followed by Queensland (12) and South Australia (14). As a whole, Australia—which ranked as the most attractive region overall last year— has fallen to second this year after Canada. The U.S. is the third most attractive region overall, followed by Europe
“Capital is fluid and one jurisdiction’s loss can be another’s gain because mining investors will flock to jurisdictions that have attractive policies,” Green said. “Sound regulatory regimes are an absolute must for policymakers who want to attract increasingly precious commodity investments.”