WA still Australia’s top spot for mining investment

Iron ore mining in Western Australia.

Western Australia remains the most attractive jurisdiction in Australia for mining investment, according to Canadian think-tank, the Fraser Institute.

However, the behemoth mining state dropped from the top spot globally in the organisation’s 2016 annual survey of mining executives to third in 2017 behind Canadian provinces, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

The survey ranks 104 jurisdictions around the world based on geologic attractiveness and the extent government policies encourage or deter exploration and investment.

Queensland (10th) is the only other Australian state to feature in the top 10 jurisdictions, improving from 16th overall in 2016, even though its overall rating score declined slightly.

Behind the top three were Nevada (United States), Finland, Quebec (Canada), Arizona (US), Sweden, Republic of Ireland, and Queensland.

Despite having just two states in the top 10, Australia and Oceania did manage to surpass Canada and the US as the most attractive region in the world for investment when both policy and mineral potential are considered, Fraser Institute added.

“WA was rated to be the most attractive jurisdiction in the region and the third most attractive jurisdiction in the world this year based on its investment attractiveness score,” Fraser Institute reported.

“Two Australian jurisdictions— New South Wales and Queensland — experienced declines in their policy perception index (PPI) scores this year.”

NSW’s PPI score was notably lower, falling from 51st in 2016 to 66th this year, as more respondents rated socioeconomic agreements/ community development conditions, labour regulations, and the legal system as discouraging to investment.

It is the fifth consecutive year that NSW suffered a decline in its PPI score.

While Queensland’s PPI score decreased, the lift in the state’s investment attractiveness score was driven by a substantial improvement in miners’ views of Queensland’s geology.

“In fact, this year Queensland is rated as having the fourth most attractive geology in the world,” according to the Fraser Institute.

The Australia and Oceania investment attractiveness index rankings order in 2017 is: WA, Queensland, South Australia (13th overall), Northern Territory (20th), Fiji (41st), Tasmania (56th), Victoria (57th), Papua New Guinea (59th), NSW (62nd), Philippines (66th), New Zealand (67th), Indonesia (78th) and Malaysia (93rd).

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