CANADIAN MINING PERSPECTIVE: Survey says Quebec is best place in world to be in the mineral industry

For the third year in a row, the Fraser Institute ranks Quebec as the most attractive place for the mineral ex...

For the third year in a row, the Fraser Institute ranks Quebec as the most attractive place for the mineral exploration industry to invest its money. Quebec beat out not only nine other Canadian provinces and three territories, but 60 jurisdictions around the world and in the United States.

The list begins with Quebec and its rating of 185, far and away better than Chile and Nevada, which are tied for second best with a rating of 82. At the bottom of the list is Venezuela (-97), which is only slightly worse than California (-92).

Six Canadian provinces are found in the top 10 places - Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Quebec, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland and Labrador. Last year Ontario held the 10th place, but this year it fell to 22nd.

The Fraser Institute conducted its annual survey between Sept.1 and Dec 20, 2009. The 670 companies who responded represent 38% of total global non-ferrous exploration spenders. They rated mineral potential under current regulatory regimes and using hypothetical assumptions. They also rated administration and enforcement of current regulations, environmental regulations, bureaucratic red tape, taxation, land claims, "protected" areas closed to exploration, infrastructure, socioeconomic requirements, political stability, labour regulations, quality of geological databases, site security and availability of skilled labour. A more comprehensive list is hard to imagine.

The survey also found that 64% of respondents expect mineral prices will rise moderately over the next two years, and nearly 20% expect substantial increases. One out of five said they expect the prices of copper and gold to peak during this time, and a further 10% expect new peaks for silver, nickel, platinum, zinc and coal. (That sounds like optimism to me.)

I urge all CMJ readers to set aside a few minutes and read the survey. The rankings are the kind of "must have" information few explorations can afford to ignore. Plus there are comments from respondents, exploration spending trends, and a snapshot of the companies who completed the survey.

Download the PDF file at


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