How Canada’s North can fulfill its great mining potential – by Ashley Stedman and Elmira Aliakbari (Troy Media – March 12, 2019)

Ashley Stedman is a senior policy analyst and Elmira Aliakbari is the associate director of natural-resource studies at the Fraser Institute.

Mining investors are eyeing all three territories in Canada’s North, according to the Fraser Institute’s annual survey of mining companies. For the first time in more than five years, all three territories are among the top 15 most attractive regions for mining investment worldwide.

But territorial governments and the federal government must implement policy reforms to capitalize on this moment, which could bring much-needed investment, employment and government revenue to areas of the North.

Every year, the Fraser Institute surveys miners around the world to determine which jurisdictions are attractive – or unattractive – for investment based on policies and geology. The survey spotlights policies (taxes, duplicative regulations, availability of labour and skills, etc.) that govern the mining industry and impact the investment attractiveness of jurisdictions.

All three territories improved their rank this year, largely because investors view the North’s mineral potential more favourably. The Northwest Territories rose from 21st last year in overall attractiveness to 10th this year, Yukon rose from 13th to ninth, and Nunavut improved its rank from 26th to 15th.

However, while investors have increasingly positive perceptions of the minerals in Canada’s territories, the policy environment raises some concerns. When considering policy factors alone, all three territories fall out of the top 15 jurisdictions worldwide, meaning the territories could benefit from policy reform.

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