Fraser survey says New Brunswick is mining heaven, Honduras is the pits – by Dorothy Kosich ( – February 24, 2012)

“The best mineral deposit has no value if government regulations and taxation prevent production.” The latest ratings from the Fraser Institute see some significant changes from a year ago.

RENO (MINEWEB) –  New Brunswick in Canada has vaulted to the top of rankings as the world’s most attractive jurisdiction for mineral exploration and development according to the Fraser Institute’s latest survey of mining companies.

The survey of 802 mining exploration and development companies on the investment climate of 93 nations, provinces and states ranked Honduras as the worst jurisdiction for mining exploration and development.

The companies participating in the Fraser Institute’s Survey of Mining Companies: 2011/2012 reported exploration spending of US$6.3 billion in 2011 and US$4.5 billion in 2010.

“New Brunswick shot to the top of the rankings as miners lauded the province for its fair, transparent, and efficient legal system and consistency in the enforcement and interpretation of existing environmental regulations,” said Fred McMahon, Fraser Institute vice-president for international policy research and survey coordinator.

“Combine that with a competitive taxation regime and minimal uncertainty around dispute lands claims and New Brunswick has emerged as a superstar in the view of the global mining community,” he observed.

Alberta, which had occupied the top spot on last year’s Fraser Survey, dropped to third on the list.

Nevertheless, Canadian jurisdictions claimed five of the top 10 spots this year. New Brunswick, Finland, Alberta, Wyoming, Quebec, Saskatchewan, Sweden, Nevada, Ireland, and the Yukon Territory were ranked in the top 10 this year. The bottom 10 scorers are Honduras, Guatemala, Bolivia, Venezuela, India, Philippines, Kyrgyzstan, Ecuador, Indonesia and Vietnam.

“Miners appear to be more pessimistic about future mining commodity prices, at least in comparison to the heady optimism about mining places in the recent past,” the survey observed. “Miners are expecting level or reduced prices for almost all the commodities we examine: silver, copper, diamonds, coal, zinc, nickel, potash, and platinum. The exception is gold.”

The survey found miners “were especially pessimistic about diamond prices. Prices for gold and silver, on the other hand, were expected to fare better than other minerals.”

This year the survey determined, “The strongest growing commodities in Latin America (Chile) and Africa (Botswana) are perceived to have the lowest level of corruption among developing nations. Even more interestingly, they are perceived to have less corruption that four Canadian provinces (Quebec, Manitoba, British Columbia, and Alberta), and two US states (Montana and Washington).”

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