The Fraser Institute released its 2019 Annual Survey of Mining Companies. The survey attempts to assess how mineral endowments and public policy factors such as taxation and regulatory uncertainty affect exploration investment. The survey’s Investment Attractiveness Index combines the Best Practices Mineral Potential index, which rates regions based on their geologic attractiveness, and the Policy Perception Index, a composite index that measures the effects of government policy on attitudes toward exploration investment.

The top jurisdiction in the world for investment based on the Investment Attractiveness Index is Western Australia, which moved up from second place in 2018. Finland moved into second place after ranking 17th the previous year. Nevada moved down two spots from first in 2018 to third in 2019. Alaska ranked fourth this year, and Portugal improved from 46th in 2018 to fifth in 2019. Rounding out the top 10 are South Australia, the Republic of Ireland, Idaho, Arizona and Sweden.

When considering both policy and mineral potential in the Investment Attractiveness Index, Tanzania ranks as the least attractive jurisdiction in the world for investment. This year, Tanzania replaced Venezuela as the least attractive jurisdiction in the world. Also in the bottom 10 (beginning with the worst) are Chubut, Argentina; La Rioja, Argentina; Guatemala; Dominican Republic; Zambia; Venezuela; the Democratic Republic of Congo; Mali; and Nicaragua.

While geologic and economic considerations are important factors in mineral exploration, a region’s policy climate is also an important investment consideration, the report said. The Policy Perception Index (PPI) is a composite index that measures the overall policy attractiveness of the 76 jurisdictions in the survey.

Finland displaced Saskatchewan from the top spot this year with the highest PPI score of 100. Finland was followed by the Republic of Ireland in the second place, which moved from fourth in the previous year. Along with Finland and Ireland, the top 10 ranked jurisdictions are Nevada, Utah, Western Australia, Alberta, Idaho, Newfoundland and Labrador, Saskatchewan and Arizona.

The 10 least attractive jurisdictions for investment based on the PPI rankings (starting with the worst) are Venezuela; Zimbabwe; Tanzania; Chubut, Argentina; Mendoza; Bolivia; the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC); Zambia; Guinea (Conakry); and La Rioja, Argentina.