The Northern Territory has shot ahead of Western Australia in the Fraser Institute’s most recent global mining survey.
The Territory was ranked 11th out of 93 regions for mining policy potential, the top for Australia, closely followed by Western Australia which ranked 12th.
The worst performing was Victoria, which came in at 44th.
Regarding actual mineral potential, Western Australia again made the top ten for the world.
However, it was dropped from 8th place last year to 10th.
Queensland also fell from 28th last year to 32nd.
South Australia just ranked out of the top ten, earning 14th place, an improvement on 27th from the previous year.
Both Tasmania and Victoria dropped dramatically, falling from 45th to 56th and 60th to 78th respectively.
According to the report, the upcoming mining taxes are also set to hurt investment, with nearly half of those surveyed saying that the taxes would act at a potential deterrent to investment in Queensland and Western Australia, an unnamed exploration company president saying that "Australians [are] moving out of Australia due to increased regulation and taxes".
However, 15% of those surveyed regarded the taxation regime in the Northern Territory as positive, saying that it encourages investment while only 12% believed this to be the case in Western Australia.
Despite the incoming Mineral Resources Rent Tax South Australia was viewed positively in the survey, with an exploration company manager stating that it "has very clear guidelines for exploration and mining, so it is very easy for projects to progress. [It’s a] very supportive government".
It was also voted in the top ten as one of the least corrupt mining territories in the world.
Western Australia also saw positive response to its mining regimes, with statements such as "Western Australia – the like mining", and that is "has mineral potential, mining friensdly legislation despite recent tax issues, clear and transparent mining administration, excellent support services, and low corruption".
Both NSW and Victoria received scathing reviews, with one mining manager saying "Victoria inhibits exploration and mining through ridiculously obstructive conditions on licences, bowing to the complaints of a few at the expense of many".
One company president slammed NSW as being "increasingly restrictive and complex, with consents needed from numerous bodies for new mining projects".
Although Queensland’s mining industry is booming, it was also singled out for the state’s governmental control.
"In Queensland, the government keeps coming up with legislation that is making attempts at exploration harder and harder," one exploration consultant said.
Despite high scores across the board, no Australian mining territory made it into the top ten overall.