Saskatchewan is the world’s third most attractive jurisdiction for mining investment, while Alberta placed 51st in the latest Annual Survey of Mining Companies report released on Thursday by the public think-tank the Fraser Institute.
“The mining survey – now in its 21st year – is the most comprehensive report card on government policy decisions that either attract or scare away mining investors from around the world,” said Kenneth Green, resident scholar and chair of the Fraser Institute’s energy and environmental studies and co-author of the report, in a news release.
This year’s survey of mining executives ranks 83 jurisdictions around the world based on their geologic attractiveness for minerals and metals and the extent that government policies encourage or deter exploration and investment, said the organization.
Saskatchewan (third), Quebec (fourth), Yukon (ninth) and the Northwest Territories (10th) are among the top 10 most attractive jurisdictions worldwide for mining investment.
“On the issue of policy attractiveness alone, Saskatchewan is the top ranked jurisdiction globally. Crucially, however, Ontario dropped from seventh last year to 20th this year, with investors giving the province low marks for regulatory uncertainty and concerns about disputed land claims. Investors also perceived Ontario’s mineral potential as less attractive this year,” said the report.
Canada – based on the combined rankings of all provinces and territories – is the world’s most attractive region for investment, beating out Australia for the top spot, added the report.
“The evidence is clear – mineral deposits alone are not enough to attract precious commodity investment dollars,” said Ashley Stedman, a senior policy analyst at the Fraser Institute and study co-author, in the news release. “A sound regulatory regime coupled with competitive fiscal policies is key to making a jurisdiction attractive in the eyes of mining investors.”
Despite being ranked third overall, Saskatchewan’s ranking dropped from second in 2017 and first in 2016.
Alberta’s ranking fell from 49th last year. In 2014, Alberta was ranked 28th overall.
– Mario Toneguzzi