Policy not geology

ATTRACTIVE geology does not guarantee mining investment if a region’s policies are bad, say mining executives surveyed in the seventh Annual Survey of Mining Companies released by The Fraser Institute.

Angie Tomlinson
Policy not geology

In this year’s survey, companies responsible for a combined total of US$642.4 million in international exploration last year rated the policy and mineral attractiveness of mining jurisdictions around the world.

“Jurisdictions like Chile, Australia, Quebec, and Nevada, which bolster attractive geology with mining-friendly policies, do well on the overall investment attractiveness index. Other jurisdictions like British Columbia and Indonesia, who also have excellent geology, are hurt by their policies which have lowered their score,” said survey coordinator Liv Fredricksen.

The survey covered all Canadian provinces and territories, Australian states, selected US states, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, China, DRC (Congo), Ghana, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Kazakhstan, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Philippines, Russia, South Africa, Turkey, Venezuela, and Zimbabwe.


Some individual comments by mining executives to the survey included:

“The USA and New Zealand (are) heavily over-regulated and distinctly green.” - Exploration Manager, junior mining company

“Most states of the USA (have a) NIMBY attitude. Largest consumers but they don’t want environmental problems in their backyard.” - President, junior mining company

“Environmental approval process is too cumbersome.” - CFO, junior mining company on the USA

“The state supports dairy farming, which has a much greater negative environmental impact on the state’s water and air than mining would.” - President, junior mining company on Wisconsin


Chile. Highest rank on the overall Investment Attractiveness Index and high scores on both the Mineral Potential Index and Policy Potential Index.

Nevada. Top-rated North American jurisdiction and second overall.

Western Australia. Placed third overall and second on the Mineral Potential Index.

Quebec. Highest ranked Canadian jurisdiction and fourth overall.


Washington, California, Wisconsin, South Dakota, and Colorado, all ranked among the least attractive areas for new investment based on their poor overall ratings.

British Columbia is perceived to have the most unattractive policies in Canada for attracting new mining investment.


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