The Fraser Institute survey came out in February. I missed it—so here is a brief summary.
The Fraser Institute Annual Survey of Mining Companies was sent to approximately 4,200 exploration, development, and other mining-related companies around the world.
The top jurisdiction in the world for investment based on the Investment Attractiveness Index is Finland with an overall score of 83.8 (see figure 1). Finland moves up three spots this year to take over as the most attractive jurisdiction in the world for mining investment. Along with Finland, the top 10 ranked jurisdictions are Saskatchewan, Nevada, Manitoba, Quebec, Wyoming, Newfoundland & Labrador, Yukon, and Alaska. Finland displaces Western Australia, which dropped to 5th overall. Saskatchewan moved up 5 spots to rank as the second most attractive jurisdiction in the world for investment. Manitoba moved into the top 10 this year, after ranking 13th last year. Greenland dropped out of the top 10 this year, moving down to 41st along with Sweden, which moved down to 12th. Table 1 illustrates in greater detail the shifts in the relative ranking of the policy perceptions of the jurisdictions surveyed.
When considering both policy and mineral potential in the Investment Attractiveness Index, Malaysia ranks as the least attractive jurisdiction in the world for investment. This is a significant drop for Malaysia which ranked 70th (of 112) in 2013. Also in the bottom 10 (beginning with the worst) are Hungary, Kenya, Honduras, Solomon Islands, Egypt, Guatemala, Bulgaria, Nigeria, and Sudan. Kenya and Bulgaria experienced large drops from 79th (of 112) and 57th (of 112) overall in 2013, respectively.
Next week I am to Guatemala to the Escobal Mine. Hard to believe it is so low a place to mine when you see that mine. But then bold leaders are in charge.
Papua New Guinea, with a score of 48, is the jurisdiction with the most room for improvement. Closely following it are Brazil, Argentina—Santa Cruz, Mongolia, and Indonesia, each with scores of 47. The Canadian province with the most room for improvement is British Columbia, with a score of 37. The American states of California, Montana, and Idaho also have significant room for improvement.
Now, now! British Columbia needs improvement? Hard to believe, but then there is the hangover of Mount Polley which revealed incompetence and inadequacies still to be addressed. At least 4,200 companies recognize that.
But maybe it is not all Mount Polley. The survey says this:
After improving its score in 2013, British Columbia’s PPI score dropped noticeably in 2014. BC 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 BC are uncertainty concerning disputed land claims and uncertainty over which areas will be protected. The sum of negative responses for these two policy factors was 73 percent and 77 percent of respondents respectively. These scores likely reflect the ongoing tensions in the province over land title issues.
Those politician cannot make policy it seems, net alone manage mine reviews. So be it. Lots of good potential mine in BC. Let us hope that next year the scores are different.