Australia falls in Fraser Institute mining investment rankings

Rio operating in the Pilbara. Copyright © 2017 Rio Tinto

Australia is no longer the most attractive region for mining investment in the annual Fraser Institute survey of mining companies.

After ranking as the most attractive region last year, Australia has fallen behind Canada to be second in the latest survey, which was conducted in late 2017.

Every Australian jurisdiction received lower scores on policy in this year’s survey, indicating increasingly unattractive government regulations across the country, according to the Canadian think-tank.

Just one Australian state or territory — Western Australia — made the top 10 most attractive jurisdictions this year, finishing fifth behind Finland, Saskatchewan (Canada), Nevada (United States) and Ireland.

The next best Australian jurisdictions were Queensland (12), South Australia (14) and the Northern Territory (27).  New South Wales (46) dropped again in this year’s survey, finishing behind the likes of Australian neighbours, Indonesia (35) and Papua New Guinea (40).

Meanwhile, Tasmania (50) improved on last year’s ranking, while Victoria (71) fell several positions.

This year’s survey of mining executives rates 91 jurisdictions around the world based on their geologic attractiveness for minerals and metals and the extent to which government policies encourage or deter exploration and investment. Overall, investment attractiveness fell slightly around the world.

Fraser Institute reported that three Australian jurisdictions — Western Australia, Northern Territory and Victoria — saw their Policy Perception Index (PPI) decline by about 10 points this year.

The PPI is a composite index that measures the overall policy attractiveness of the jurisdictions in the survey.

“Western Australia’s ratings showed a decline this year, with its policy ranking decreasing from 9th in 2016 to 17th in 2017, reflecting increasing concern over political stability, socioeconomic agreements/community development conditions, and the taxation regime,” the report revealed.

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