Discredited Fraser Institute Mining Survey Resurfaces

February 24, 2015 | By admin | Filed in: Economics & Taxation.

Wow. We asked ourselves how the Fraser Institute could bring
back its annual
global mining survey
after Press Progress’ devastating
exposé “Now
ordinary Canadians can skew Fraser Institute’s data from
”. Apparently the answer is simple — pretend that
nothing is wrong with the methodology (or that there actually
is a methodology), just as they always have. Really, it’s
nothing more than a content-free exercise in leveraging
industry pressure for deregulation and government support. It
clearly has little to do with actual mining investment or
activity if companies keep investing in places at the bottom of
the ranking, like Guatemala.

So here we go again. Quick decoder: 

  • “Competitive taxation” = least possible contribution to the
    public good; net subsidies for making off with mineral
    resources would be even better
  • “Good scientific support” = public support for geoscience
    that facilitates prospecting (that we don’t pay for, see
  • “Efficient permitting processes” = deregulation; quick
    approvals with no possibility of rejection or “onerous”
  • “Clarity around land claims” = not having to consult
    landowners or Treaty partners; quick approvals with no
    possibility of rejection or “onerous” requirements
  • “Complete incomprehensibility of rights” = we’ll pretend we
    don’t understand the Constitutional requirement for meaningful
    consultation until someone makes us
  • “Ambiguity about what regions will be protected” = we’ll
    keep trying to mine in sacred and protected areas until someone
    stops us

The report is available (free!)
. Here’s their news release. Enjoy.

Fraser Institute News Release: Saskatchewan ranks first in
Canada and second worldwide in annual global mining survey;
Ontario and B.C. slipping

MEDIA CONTACT: Dr. Kenneth P. Green Senior Director, Energy
and Natural Resources, Fraser Institute, (403) 216-7175 ext.
426, [email protected]

CALGARY—Saskatchewan is the most attractive jurisdiction for
mining investment in Canada, according to an annual global
survey of mining executives released today by the Fraser
Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian policy

Fraser Institute Annual Survey of Mining Companies, 2014
rates 122 jurisdictions around the world based on their
geologic attractiveness and the extent to which government
policies encourage exploration and investment. Saskatchewan
ranks as the top jurisdiction in Canada and finishes second
worldwide behind Finland.

“In addition to being blessed with an abundance of mineral
potential, Saskatchewan gets credit for having a government
with a transparent and productive approach to mining policy,”
said Kenneth Green, Fraser Institute senior director of energy
and natural resources and director of the Survey of Mining

“The province offers a competitive taxation regime, good
scientific support, efficient permitting procedures and clarity
around land claims. That’s what miners look for.”

In total, five Canadian jurisdictions finished in the top 10
worldwide: Saskatchewan (2), Manitoba (4), Quebec (6),
Newfoundland and Labrador (8) and Yukon (9). Of note is Quebec
whose placement suggests that the province’s reputation for
mining investment has rebounded after a three-year period of
increased red tape, higher royalties and regulatory

Two of Canada’s other geographically large jurisdictions —
Ontario and British Columbia — didn’t fare as well.
Internationally, Ontario places 23rd and B.C. ranks 28th
falling nine and 12 spots, respectively, from the 2013 survey.

“In Ontario, the New Mining Act amendments regarding First
Nations consultation have resulted in complete
incomprehensibility of rights on all sides,” Green said.

“Similarly in British Columbia, uncertainty concerning disputed
land claims and ambiguity about what regions will be protected
are deterrents to investment and exploration.”

The survey was conducted between August 26 and November 15,
2014 and includes the responses of 485 mineral exploration and
development company executives from around the world.
Exploration budgets reported by companies participating in the
survey totalled US$2.7 billion in 2014 and US$3.2 billion in

The complete survey is available as free PDF download at

Canadian rankings:

  1. Saskatchewan
  2. Manitoba
  3. Quebec
  4. Newfoundland and Labrador
  5. Yukon
  6. Northwest Territories
  7. New Brunswick
  8. Alberta
  9. Ontario
  10. British Columbia
  11. Nunavut
  12. Nova Scotia

Worldwide rankings (Top 10):

  1. Finland
  2. Saskatchewan
  3. Nevada
  4. Manitoba
  5. Western Australia
  6. Quebec
  7. Wyoming
  8. Newfoundland and Labrador
  9. Yukon
  10. Alaska

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