Finland named top mining jurisdiction by Fraser Institute

February 26, 2015

Finland earned the top spot in the Fraser Institute’s annual Survey of Mining Companies, while five provinces in Canada (Saskkatchewan, Manitoba, Quebec, Newfoundland and Labrador and Yukon) were ranked as top 10 mining jurisdictions in the world. Nevada (3), Wyoming (7) and Alaska (10) earned top-10 rankings for the United States. Western Australia (5) earned the final ranking.

The survey was conducted between August 26 and November 15, 2014 and includes the responses of 485 mineral exploration and development company executives from around the world. Exploration budgets reported by companies participating in the survey totaled US$2.7 billion in 2014 and US$3.2 billion in 2013.

The report said uncertainty over native land rights is hindering mining investment in British Columbia, according to a global survey of mining executives released Tuesday by the Fraser Institute, a conservative think-tank.

However, the Association for Mineral Exploration British Columbia (AME BC) disputes the report’s findings, saying mining investment has risen sharply in B.C. since 2001.

“In Ontario, the New Mining Act amendments regarding First Nations consultation have resulted in complete incomprehensibility of rights on all sides,” said Kenneth Green, the Fraser Institute’s senior director of energy and natural resources and director of the Survey of Mining Companies.

“Similarly in British Columbia, uncertainty concerning disputed land claims and ambiguity about what regions will be protected are deterrents to investment and exploration.”

The Fraser Institute Annual Survey of Mining Companies, 2014, rated 122 jurisdictions around the world based on their geological attractiveness and the extent to which government policies encourage exploration and investment.

“In addition to being blessed with an abundance of mineral potential, Saskatchewan gets credit for having a government with a transparent and productive approach to mining policy,” said Kenneth Green, Fraser Institute senior director of energy and natural resources and director of the Survey of Mining Companies.

“The province offers a competitive taxation regime, good scientific support, efficient permitting procedures and clarity around land claims. That’s what miners look for.”

The report — noting that Saskatchewan ranked as the top province in Canada — concluded that after improving its score in 2013, B.C.’s policy perception index score dropped sharply in 2014.

“B.C. dropped in the rankings by 10 positions, coming in at an overall ranking of 42nd and having the worst performance of any Canadian jurisdiction on policy alone. The two policy areas significantly hampering B.C. are uncertainty concerning disputed land claims and uncertainty over which areas will be protected.”

Despite that, AME BC argued that data provided by Natural Resources Canada shows that B.C.’s share of mineral exploration investment more than tripled from six per cent in 2001 to 21 percent in 2014, the Vancouver Sun reported.

“At the same time, B.C.’s ranking among provinces in attracting mineral exploration and development investment has risen from fourth place in 2009 to second place, only behind Ontario, in 2013 and 2014,” AME BC president and CEO Gavin Dirom said in a statement. “In recent years, we have seen a number of new major metal mines constructed in our province, including Copper Mountain in 2011, New Afton in 2012 and Mount Milligan in 2013.”



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