Fraser Institute Annual Survey of Mining Companies, 2019 – by Ashley Stedman, Jairo Yunis and Elmira Aliakbari (February 25, 2020)

This report presents the results of the Fraser Institute’s 2019 annual survey of mining and exploration companies. The survey is an attempt to assess how mineral endowments and public policy factors such as taxation and regulatory uncertainty affect exploration investment.

The survey was circulated electronically to approximately 2,400 individuals between August 20th to November 8th, 2019. Survey responses have been tallied to rank provinces, states, and countries according to the extent that public policy factors encourage or discourage mining investment.

We received a total of 263 responses for the survey, providing sufficient data to evaluate 76 jurisdictions. By way of comparison, 83 jurisdictions were evaluated in 2018, 91 in 2017, 104 in 2016, and 109 in 2015. The number of jurisdictions that can be included in the study tends to wax and wane as the mining sector grows or shrinks due to commodity prices and sectoral factors.

Like last year’s survey, this year’s survey also includes an analysis of permit times.

The Investment Attractiveness Index takes both mineral and policy perception into consideration

An overall Investment Attractiveness Index is constructed by combining the Best Practices Mineral Potential index, which rates regions based on their geologic attractiveness, and the Policy Perception Index, a composite index that measures the effects of government policy on attitudes toward exploration investment.

While it is useful to measure the attractiveness of a jurisdiction based on policy factors such as onerous regulations, taxation levels, the quality of infrastructure, and the other policy related questions that respondents answered, the Policy Perception Index alone does not recognize the fact that investment decisions are often sizably based on the pure mineral potential of a jurisdiction.

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