Alberta ranked as world's top mining jurisdiction

Thu Mar 3, 2011 8:27am EST
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By Euan Rocha

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canadian provinces still dominate a list of the world's most attractive mining jurisdictions, with Alberta claiming the top spot, according to a Fraser Institute survey released on Thursday.

The survey, based on views of about 500 mining companies, measures the attractiveness of the mining policies implemented by governments across the globe.

Though a surge in metal prices has made miners more optimistic, many respondents said a growing trend of resource nationalism and new mining taxes are a cause for concern.

"I think for virtually every jurisdiction there is a feeling that things are getting worse, as opposed to better," said Fred McMahon, co-author of the report.

The Fraser Institute released the report on Thursday, just ahead of the annual PDAC prospectors and developers convention in Toronto.

Higher taxes and new laws in some of the world's most investor-friendly destinations such as Quebec, Nevada, Chile and Australia have weighed on the rankings of these locations, McMahon said.

Miners saw the Canadian provinces of Alberta, Nevada and Saskatchewan as jurisdictions with the most appealing mining policies, but Quebec and Manitoba also made it into the top 10.

"Alberta is at the top by default; other recent top contenders all have some minor black mark against them," said McMahon. "Alberta has some mining, but it is not the world's richest mining territory."   Continued...