By Samantha James
WA is the top jurisdiction in the world for mining investment based on 2015 results from the Fraser Institute’s Annual Survey of Mining Companies.
Australia’s largest state moved up to first position from fourth in 2014, with the 2015 survey tallying 449 responses and evaluating 109 jurisdictions.
The survey attempts to assess how mineral endowments and public policy factors such as taxation and regulatory uncertainty affect exploration investment, ranked under an ‘overall investment attractiveness’ index.
The 2015 survey rated WA for the top jurisdiction in the world based on the investment attractiveness index, followed by Saskatchewan in Canada and Nevada in the US, which was displaced from top position.
The Argentinean province of La Rioja ranked as the least attractive jurisdiction in the world for investment when considering both policy and mineral potential.
Under the ‘policy perception’ index, which considered the attractiveness of a destination solely under its government mining policy, WA came eighth.
Ireland took the top spot for the third year in a row, followed by Sweden and Saskatchewan.
The least attractive jurisdictions for investment based on the policy perception index rankings were Venezuela, Myanmar and La Rioja.
More than half of the 2015 survey respondents represented exploration companies, 29 per cent represented producer companies and the final 18 per cent was made up of consulting and other companies.
The companies that participated in the survey reported exploration spending of US$2.2 billion in 2015.
The 2015 report stated there was a decline in responses compared to the previous year and a notable decrease in exploration spending.
“This represents a continuing trend of decreases in exploration spending year after year, likely due to a downturn in commodity prices and challenges in attracting investment to the sector,” it stated.