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Alberta top Canadian jurisdiction in annual global mining survey, Quebec sinking fast

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Release Date: March 3, 2014

CALGARY, AB—Alberta remains the most attractive jurisdiction for mining investment in Canada, according to the annual global survey of mining executives released today by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank.

For the second consecutive year, Alberta ranked first in Canada and third worldwide in the survey, which is based on input from 690 mineral exploration and development company executives. This year’s survey spotlighted 112 jurisdictions worldwide.

“Miners praise Alberta for its transparent and productive approach to mining policy. The province offers competitive taxation regimes, sound legal systems, and relatively low uncertainty around land claims. That’s what miners look for,” said Kenneth Green, Fraser Institute senior director of energy and natural resources and director of the Survey of Mining Companies 2013.

Three Canadian jurisdictions—Alberta (3), New Brunswick (7), and Newfoundland and Labrador (9)—ranked in the top 10 worldwide, followed by Saskatchewan (12), Yukon (19), Quebec (21), Manitoba (26), Ontario (28), Nova Scotia (29), British Columbia (32), Nunavut (44), and the Northwest Territories (47).

From 2007 to 2009, Quebec topped the survey, then dropped to 5th in 2011, 11th in 2012 and finally 21st worldwide in 2013, due in part to amendments to Quebec’s Mining Act and recent tax policy changes.

“If Quebec wants to renew confidence in the global mining sector, it should reduce red tape, minimize the risk associated with policy changes and tax increases, and respect negotiated contracts,” Green said.

B.C. dropped to 32nd from 31st in 2012, although there were 16 fewer jurisdictions spotlighted in last year’s survey. This year’s survey recorded improved perceptions of B.C.’s political stability and availability of labour and skills.

The top 10 most attractive jurisdictions for investment worldwide include (from the top) Sweden, Finland, Alberta, Ireland, Wyoming, Western Australia, New Brunswick, Nevada, Newfoundland & Labrador, and Norway.

“The confidence mining executives have in Sweden and Finland, for example, proves that it’s possible to enact sound environmental protections and still maintain a successful mining industry,” Green said.

The 10 least attractive jurisdictions for investment worldwide (from the bottom) are Kyrgyzstan, Venezuela, Philippines, Argentina—La Rioja, Angola, Argentina—Mendoza, Zimbabwe, Ivory Coast, Indonesia and Madagascar.

The exploration budgets reported by companies participating in the survey totalled US$4.6 billion in 2012 and US$3.4 billion in 2013.



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