The largest gold mine in Australia

Fraser Institute’s Annual Survey of Mining Companies 2022 has confirmed that Australia is once again the leading mining jurisdiction in the world, with three states listed in the top ten jurisdictions for mining investment based on the Investment Attractiveness Index.

The states in question were Western Australia, which ranked second this year after topping the ranking in 2022, the Northern Territory which came in at sixth and South Australia which ranked ninth.

The yearly survey ranks the world’s mining jurisdictions for investment attractiveness and policy measures, as perceived by industry respondents, and is eagerly anticipated each year.

This year’s report stated that, “(when) Considering both policy and mineral potential, Australia continues to be the most attractive region in the world for mining investment.” 

In addition to the above states, on overall investment attractiveness, Queensland ranked 13th up from 18th, New South Wales finished at 23rd up from 33rd, and Victoria fell from 33rd to 47th. 

Based on 180 responses the survey sample size was only sufficient to evaluate 62 jurisdictions, considerably less than in previous years, meaning that these results are less representative than previous years’.

Despite these promising results there are signs, however, that investors are being deterred by government processes and policies.

The Minerals Council of Australia’s (MCA) Chief Executive Officer, Tania Constable, said current policy settings are putting investment in mining at risk.

“Workplace relations, tax, environment, climate change and energy policies that impose unexpected costs on the mining industry threaten the capital investment that underpins its contribution to the economy and the global efforts to decarbonise.

“Australia needs more investment along the entire mining value chain to boost the economy’s performance and play its part in the goal of net zero emissions by 2050,” Ms Constable said.

The Association of Mining and Exploration Companies’ (AMEC) Chief Executive Officer, Warren Pearce, said, “The survey is a valuable indicator to how an industry sees the performance and supportiveness of governments and regulatory bodies toward the mining industry.

“Despite the reduced sample size, the survey reflects the view that overall, Australia continues to be seen as a highly desirable place for investment.”

Mr Pearce also said that while the results are encouraging, there is still room for further improvements in Australia.

“Many such initiatives are underway around Australia, and we will continue to work with governments to deliver a welcoming investment environment for the sector, to drive this investment.

“However, there are, equally, many concerning policy and regulatory developments here in Australia, that have the potential to negatively impact our reputation as a safe investment jurisdiction.”

The South Australian Chamber of Mines and Energy (SACOME) Chief Executive Officer, Rebecca Knol, has welcomed the release of the Annual Survey of Mining Companies 2022.

“South Australia’s ranking as the world’s ninth most attractive state for mining investment is once again a positive result for South Australia and an encouraging sign for future exploration activity, project development, job creation and overall exports,” Ms Knol said.

“Exploration is critical in ensuring a future pipeline of resources projects and increasing the resources sector’s already-significant economic contribution to the state.”

South Australia also ranked highly on the Policy Perception Index (PPI), jumping to third place ahead of Western Australia which ranked tenth. The PPI measures the effects of government policy on attitudes toward exploration investment.

“It’s pleasing to see South Australia has increased its PPI scores this year in comparison to results from 2021, with respondents expressing decreased concerns over uncertainty regarding disputed land claims, protected areas and its socioeconomic agreements and community developments.,” Ms Knol said.

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