Survey of mining companies
The results of the latest Survey of Mining Companies have been released by the Vancouver-based Fraser Institute, and they are definitely not ‘same old, same old’. Having surveyed 320 companies in 64 jurisdictions around the world, the institute collected the minutiae and arranged the results in several telling graphs.
The report tallies US$1.83 billion in international exploration expenditures in 2005, which it believes is only one-third of the global total. Four out of five companies large and small increased their exploration budgets. Half the respondents said gold is assigned the largest portion of their budgets. Copper was the most sought-after commodity among 15%. Only 8% are spending most on the hunt for nickel.
The report ranks countries by political stability, regulatory uncertainty, their environmental policies and taxation regimes, infrastructure, labour regulations, geological databases, and more.
The report’s ultimate ranking, the Policy Potential Index, reflects all the other rankings taken together. Right at the top is Nevada, which scores 93 out of 100, followed closely by Alberta (92). Not far behind are Manitoba (88), Chile (87), Quebec (86), Mexico (84) and Saskatchewan (81). Rounding out the top ten are Arizona (79), Ontario (78) and Utah (75). B.C. now ranks 23rd of 64, the first time that province has scored in the top half since the report was begun in 1997.
The Fraser Institute’s Annual Survey of Mining Companies 2005/2006 can be read in its entirety at www.FraserInstitute.ca/admin/books/ files/Mining20052006.pdf.