Australia, Canada, Chile, Brazil and Mexico the top five mining projects’ destinations

In its annual ranking of countries in terms of political risks for mining investment, the mineral industry advisory firm Behre Dolbear, has ranked Australia, Canada, Chile, Brazil and Mexico as the top five nations in which to locate mining projects.

The five lowest-scoring nations were Russia, Bolivia, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Kazakhstan with Papua New Guinea being the worst in terms of political risk for mining projects.

Surprisingly, the United States was the worst ranked nation in terms of mining permitting delays by the Denver-based mining business consultant.

For the study, 25 nations were ranked on seven criteria including economic system, political system, degree of social issues affecting mining, delays in receiving permits, degree of corruption, stability of the country's currency, and the competitiveness of the nation's tax policy.

Due to their inherently low ranking the firm decided not to rank Venezuela and Zimbabwe on the list, despite the significant mineral wealth that both contain .

“Behre Dolbear advises clients to exercise notable caution when considering investments in these countries. The political and social situation in Zimbabwe continues to warrant exceptional consideration in risk mitigation while in Venezuela, Hugo Chavez’s nationalization of gold mines and other mineral resource assets severely limits investment return potential. Significant political reform must occur in both countries prior to the restoration of investor confidence.”

In the report, Behre Dolbear noted State-owned enterprises (SOE) and sovereign wealth funds (China, Korea, Russia, India, Singapore, Saudi Arabica, and elsewhere) are continuing to invest in mineral resource development and production as their parent countries consume more mineral products correlated to economic growth.