Nevada is the world’s new top mining destination

Mining engineers in discussion at Barrick Gold's  Cortez project, located 100 km southwest of Elko, Nevada. Credit:   Barrick GoldMining engineers in discussion at Barrick Gold's Cortez project, located 100 km southwest of Elko, Nevada. Credit: Barrick Gold

The U.S. state of Nevada is the new most attractive region for mining investors, replacing iron ore-rich Western Australia in the 2020 survey of resource and exploration companies released today by the Fraser Institute.

The new version of the think-tank’s popular ranking is based on answers from 276 participants, which provided sufficient data to evaluate the overall investment attractiveness of 77 jurisdictions.

The result is a combination of two indexes — Best Practices Mineral Potential, which rates regions based on their geologic attractiveness and the Policy Perception Index, a composite indicator that measures the effects of government policy on attitudes toward exploration investment.

The second place was taken up by another U.S. state, Arizona, which moved up from the ninth spot in 2019. Canada’s Saskatchewan climbed eight spots from 11th in 2019 to third in 2020. Western Australia descended from the top spot last year to the fourth, and Alaska dropped from fourth in 2019 to fifth in 2020.

Rounding out the top 10 are Quebec, South Australia, Newfoundland & Labrador, Idaho, and Finland.

Nevada is the world’s new top mining destination
Courtesy of Fraser Institute Annual Survey of Mining Companies 2020.

When considering how Canadian jurisdictions rank on the Investment Attractiveness Index, the country is the world’s second most attractive region for investment after Australia. This year, Saskatchewan (3rd), Quebec (6th), and Newfoundland & Labrador (8th) made it to the top 10, a significant increase compared to 2019, which didn’t feature any jurisdiction among the best 10.

Elmira Aliakbari, one of the report’s authors, Canada’s overall investment attractiveness improvement was largely driven by investors’ better perceptions on mineral potential, a factor that weighs about 60% on the main index.

When it comes to the ten least attractive jurisdictions for investment, the mining executives interviewed chose Indonesia, La Rioja (Argentina), Bolivia, Mendoza (Argentina), Zimbabwe, Spain and Michigan in that order.

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