WA tops world as place for mining investment

Western Australia has become the top mining jurisdiction for investment, according to Fraser Institute’s annual survey of mining company rankings.

The state leads the way for the first time since 2015 after being rated the second most attractive jurisdiction in the world by the Canadian think-tank last year.

Western Australia’s standing comes after Australia reported a record $290 billion in resource exports in 2019, according to recent trade data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Western Australia had a record number of workers employed in its minerals sector in 2018-19 (124,010), according to the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety.

A total of 76 jurisdictions across the globe were assessed, with South Australia one of the big movers in 2020, climbing from 24th last year to sixth.

“The mining survey is the most comprehensive report on government policies that either attract or discourage mining investors,” said Fraser Institute senior policy analyst Ashley Stedman.

“A sound regulatory regime coupled with competitive taxes are key to making a jurisdiction attractive to investors.”

Meanwhile, Queensland (15th) has lost its previous spot to the Northern Territory (13th), which has entered the top 20 this year.

Tasmania (22nd) and Victoria (43rd) sit outside the top 20 – but have jumped significantly from their previous rankings.

However, New South Wales (47th) has dropped down from 42nd place in the last survey.

Despite Western Australia topping the charts for mining jurisdictions, the country as a whole saw declines across the board for policy production index scores.

“The Policy Perception Index, or PPI provides a comprehensive assessment of the attractiveness of mining policies in a jurisdiction, and can serve as a report card to governments on how attractive their policies are from the point of view of an exploration manager,” the report read.

Western Australia is also the only state in the top 10 on the survey’s policy production index (PPI), ranked at fifth place overall.

Meanwhile, Tasmania saw a decrease of 10.8 points since the previous report due to miner concern about regulation enforcement and administration.

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