MCA alarmed by Fraser Institute Australian ranking fall

An iron ore operation in Canada, which saw four places in the Fraser Institute's top 10 jurisdictions.

The Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) interim chief executive David Byers has responded to the Fraser Institute’s Annual Survey of Mining Companies 2017, which was released last month and painted a less than rosy view of Australia’s mining attractiveness.

“It is alarming to note that some Australian states are only just ahead of tiny African nations like Burkina Faso in perceptions of government policy that influence mining exploration investment,” he said.

“Australia’s world-class mining sector is handicapped by over-regulation, red tape and duplicated environmental laws across most jurisdictions — all of which limits job creation and prosperity, especially in regional communities.”

The annual global mining survey from the Canadian think-tank cited the attractiveness of Australian mining prospects and policy competitiveness as being on the wane.

The report charts the appeal of mining regions on the basis of two main factors, geological attractiveness and the influence of government policy on exploration investment — the survey is comprised of the perceptions and opinions of mining company executives from various countries.

The report also splits points into two areas: investment attractiveness and policy ranking.

Within Australia, Western Australia still ranked highly for investment attractiveness compared with 2016, dropping from 3rd to 5th place, though policy didn’t fare so well, dropping from 9th to 17th place. Queensland ranked 12th on the investment attractiveness index, in second place for Australia.

Northern Territory fared lower yet for policy perception, down to 33rd of 91 places in 2017 from 22nd of 104 places in 2016. New South Wales and Victoria both ranked in the bottom half of the 91 surveyed places.

The top five locations for investment attractiveness rated as follows:

  1. Finland
  2. Saskatchewan, Canada
  3. Nevada, USA
  4. Ireland
  5. Western Australia

Canada placed well generally, with Quebec (6th) and Ontario (7th) both in the top 10. Bottom of the list was Guatemala.

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