Survey of Mining Companies

Survey of Mining Companies names Alberta top destination for investment

10.03.2011 | Editor: Marcel Dröttboom

The Fraser Institute’s Survey of Mining Companies: 2010/2011 names Alberta top destination for investment.

Toronto, Canada – Alberta has surpassed Quebec as the world’s most attractive jurisdiction for mineral exploration and development, according to the Survey of Mining Companies: 2010/2011, released by the Fraser Institute, a Canadian public policy think-tank.

The Fraser Institute’s Survey of Mining Companies: 2010/2011 is based on the opinions of mining executives representing 494 mineral exploration and development companies on the investment climate of 79 jurisdictions around the world. The companies participating in the survey reported exploration spending of USD 2.43 billion in 2010 and USD 1.86 billion in 2009.

“Alberta’s resource-friendly government, competitive taxation regime, and superior infrastructure render the province a standout for mining investment, not only in Canada but also globally,” said Fred McMahon, coordinator of the survey and the Institute’s vice-president of international policy research. “There’s minimal uncertainty around mining in Alberta.”

Top 10 Jurisdictions

Overall, the top 10 jurisdictions are Alberta, Nevada, Saskatchewan, Quebec, Finland, Utah, Sweden, Chile, Manitoba, and Wyoming. Seven of the same jurisdictions ranked among the top 10 last year; the three exceptions are Utah, which rose to sixth place from 15th; Sweden, which climbed to seventh from 12th; and Wyoming, which jumped to 10th from 13th. Chile is the only jurisdiction outside of North America that consistently ranks among the top 10.

The bottom 10 scores went to Indonesia, Zimbabwe, Wisconsin, Madagascar, India, Guatemala, Bolivia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Venezuela, and Honduras.

Australia and the Resource Super Profits Tax

Australia generally saw an improvement in its rankings after taking a hard hit in the special Survey of Mining Companies: 2010 Mid-Year Update, following the Australian government’s plan to impose a heavy Resources Super Profits Tax (RSPT) on the mining industry. The new 2011 rankings show South Australia in 11th, Western Australia at 17th, New South Wales ranked 20th, the Northern Territory in 27th, and Queensland at 38th. “The Australian government has since announced it would back away from the proposed tax, earning a positive reaction and improved rankings from the global mining industry,” McMahon said.

Growing Exploration Budgets

The report also notes that the worldwide economic turnaround has created optimism in the mining industry, with more than three quarters of respondents saying they expect to increase their exploration budgets this year.

“In order to attract investment and compete globally, governments must offer sensible, stable mining policies which, above all, uphold the rule of law and respect negotiated contracts and property rights,” McMahon said. “Royalty increases and convoluted regulatory schemes create uncertainty in mining, which will only drive mining investment away.”

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