Western Australia is world’s new top mining destination

Western Australia is host to some of the world’s largest iron ore mines. (Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

Resource-rich Western Australia has been picked the most attractive region for mining investment in 2019, the latest annual survey of mining companies released Tuesday by the Fraser Institute shows.

The Aussie state, which is home to almost 130 export-oriented mining projects and hundreds of smaller quarries and mines producing over 50 different commodities, had ranked second in 2018.

Finland moved into second place this year, after ranking 17th in 2018

Finland, and moved into second place, after ranking 17th in 2018.

United States’ Nevada moved down two spots from first in 2018 to third in 2019.

Rounding out the 10 most attractive destination for mining investors are Alaska, Portugal (fifth in 2019, versus 46th in 2018), South Australia, Ireland, Idaho, Arizona and Sweden.

For the first time in a decade, no Canadian jurisdiction made it to the top 10, but the province of Saskatchewan remains the most attractive region, ranking 11th on this year’s global survey index. In 2018, the potash-rich province ranked third.

Despite months of protests against high levels of inequality and the cost of living, Chile remains the favourite country for mining investors in Latin America.

The ranking takes both mineral and policy perception into consideration as well as permit times. This year’s survey is based on 263 responses covering 76 jurisdictions.

When it comes to the ten least attractive jurisdictions for investment, the mining executives interviewed chose Tanzania, Chubut (Argentina), La Rioja (Argentina), Guatemala, Dominican Republic, Zambia, Venezuela, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Mali and Nicaragua in that order.

Canada had held the top spot in 2017 and 2018, but its relative investment attractiveness last year fell by almost 11%.