Sweden claims top spot on Fraser survey

March 3, 2014

The top mining jurisdictions in the world, according the Fraser Institute are Sweden and Finland, with Sweden taking the top spot in the annual survey this time around.

The Fraser Institute released its annual “Survey of Mining Companies” during the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) meeting in Toronto, Canada. The report was sent to approximately 4,100 exploration, development and other mining related companies around the world to determine the best and worst jurisdictions for miners to operate. For the second consecutive year the Nordic countries beat out Canada for the top spots.

Sweden, which placed second last year, moved to the top of the list, while last year's top jurisdiction, Finland, slipped to second place.

Based on a survey of 690 mining and exploration companies, the 2013 study looked at whether mining policies in 112 jurisdictions around the world encouraged investment.

Sweden and Finland have rigorous permitting process and were praised by the report for remaining business friendly. Neighboring Norway was 10th on the list.

"The confidence mining executives have in Sweden and Finland, for example, proves that it's possible to enact sound environmental protections and still maintain a successful mining industry," said Kenneth Green, the institute's senior director of energy and natural resources, in a statement.

Alberta was the highest-ranked Canadian province, taking the No. 3 spot, with companies praising its transparent and productive approach to mining policy.

Alberta "offers competitive taxation regimes, sound legal systems and relatively low uncertainty around land claims. That's what miners look for," said Green.

Canadian jurisdictions again fared well, with New Brunswick and the province of Newfoundland and Labrador joining Alberta in the top 10. Quebec, which topped the list from 2007 to 2009, slipped 10 spots to 21st, reflecting changes to its mining act and tax policies since the Parti Quebecois displaced the Liberals as the province's government in late 2012.

Other jurisdictions in the top 10 included the U.S. states of Wyoming and Nevada, along with Ireland and Western Australia.

Kyrgyzstan ranked as the least attractive location for investment, according to the survey. Canadian gold miner Centerra Gold Inc is in the midst of a long-running battle with the Central Asian nation over the ownership of its flagship Kumtor project, which accounted for about 12 percent of the country's GDP in 2011.

Niger, Venezuela, and Uruguay were also listed among the least attractive jurisdictions for mining.


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