COMMENT: The best of places, the worst of places

Calgary’s Fraser Institute has released its latest ranking of the best and worst places to be a miner. Every year the organization […]
Calgary’s Fraser Institute has released its latest ranking of the best and worst places to be a miner. Every year the organization takes a global look at where governments encourage the mineral industry based on government policies that affect  investment decisions. The institute has developed what it calls is policy perception index (PPI). The index is composed of survey responses from 109 jurisdictions. It considers geologic attractiveness,  uncertainty concerning the administration of current regulations, environmental regulations, regulatory duplication, the legal system and taxation regime, uncertainty concerning protected areas and disputed land claims, infrastructure, socioeconomic and community development conditions, trade barriers, political stability, labor and labour and skills availability. That is a long and comprehensive list of factors to consider. When all the responses were tallied, the Fraser Institute determined that Western Australia is the best place to be a miner (up from fourth place in the previous ranking), followed by Saskatchewan. Quebec, for many years the top jurisdiction, rated second in Canada and is the only other Canadian jurisdiction to rate in the global top 10. Yukon ranked 12th. The Canadian PPI rankings looked like this: No.1 Saskatchewan, No.2 Quebec, No.3 Yukon, No.4 Ontario, No.5 British Columbia, No.6 Manitoba, No.7 Nunavut, No.8 Newfoundland and Labrador, No.9 Alberta, No.10 Northwest Territories, No.11 New Brunswick, and bringing up the rear at No.12 was Nova Scotia. Looking at the responses by country, sad to say that Canada has slipped out of top spot into second place. Australia now outshines this country as the best place in the world to be a miner. And being No.1 is paying off. recently published a story about the role of the mining industry in keeping that country out of recession. Despite slumping commodity prices, there has been a decade long boom in Australian mining investment, and that drove the construction industry and economic growth. Surprisingly the greatest advances have been  in coal, iron ore and gas. That country’s multi-commodity base vis said to have protected the country from the worst of the oil price collapse. The article also warns that it is time for the rest of Australian industry to step up and do their part to avoid recession. The mining industry has carried the country about as far as it can for now. Looking solely at worldwide investment attractiveness the top 10 look like this: No.1 Western Australia, No.2 Saskatchewan, No. 3 Nevada, No.4 Ireland, No.5 Finland, No.6 Alaska, No.7 Northern Territory (Australia), No.8 Quebec, No.9 Utah, and No.10 South Australia. The entire survey is available at  


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