The Fraser Institute

The Fraser Institute

March 03, 2014 06:15 ET

Quebec's Mining Reputation Falling, Alberta Remains Most Attractive Jurisdiction for Mining Investment in Canada

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwired - March 3, 2014) - With Quebec apparently poised on the brink of an election, a new study confirms the province is no longer regarded as a premier jurisdiction for mining investment.

According to the Fraser Institute's annual global survey of mining executives, Quebec has dropped to 21st out of 112 jurisdictions worldwide in 2013.

This comes after Quebec topped the survey from 2007 to 2009, which is based on input from 690 mineral exploration and development company executives, then dropped to 5th in 2011, and 11th in 2012.

"Quebec has fallen from first to 21st in four years-proof that changes to Quebec's mining policies are of serious concern to the global mining community," said Kenneth Green, Fraser Institute senior director of energy and natural resources and director of the Survey of Mining Companies 2013.

According to the survey, primary concerns about Quebec include uncertainty around the administration, interpretation and enforcement of regulations, and Quebec's legal system and taxation regime.

"These concerns likely reflect the uncertainty over amendments to Quebec's Mining Act and recent tax policy changes in the province. Reduce red tape, minimize the risk associated with policy changes and tax increases, and respect negotiated contracts-that's how Quebec can woo the global mining sector," Green said.

Three Canadian jurisdictions-Alberta (3), New Brunswick (7), and Newfoundland and Labrador (9) ranked in the top 10 worldwide, followed by Saskatchewan (12), Yukon (19), Manitoba (26), Ontario (28), Nova Scotia (29), British Columbia (32), Nunavut (44), and the Northwest Territories (47).

The top 10 most attractive jurisdictions for investment worldwide include (from the top) Sweden, Finland, Alberta, Ireland, Wyoming, Western Australia, New Brunswick, Nevada, Newfoundland & Labrador, and Norway.

"The confidence mining executives have in Sweden and Finland, for example, proves that it's possible to enact sound environmental protections and still maintain a successful mining industry. Quebec's political leaders should take note," Green said.

The 10 least attractive jurisdictions for investment worldwide (from the bottom) are Kyrgyzstan, Venezuela, Philippines, Argentina-La Rioja, Angola, Argentina-Mendoza, Zimbabwe, Ivory Coast, Indonesia and Madagascar.

The exploration budgets reported by companies participating in the survey totalled US$4.6 billion in 2012 and US$3.4 billion in 2013. The complete survey is available in English as a free PDF download at www.fraserinstitute.org.

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The Fraser Institute is an independent Canadian public policy research and educational organization with offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, and Montreal and ties to a global network of 86 think-tanks. Its mission is to measure, study, and communicate the impact of competitive markets and government intervention on the welfare of individuals. To protect the Institute's independence, it does not accept grants from governments or contracts for research. Visit www.fraserinstitute.org

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