Saskatchewan and Manitoba are now the two most attractive jurisdictions for mining investment in the world, finds the Fraser Institute in its annual global survey of mining executives.

The survey rates 104 jurisdictions around the world based on both their geologic and policy attractiveness.

The two Canadian provinces beat out Western Australia, which fell from the number-one spot to third this year.

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“Competitive tax regimes, efficient permitting procedures and certainty surrounding environmental regulations and land-claims have vaulted Saskatchewan and Manitoba to the top in the eyes of miners looking to invest,” says Kenneth Green in a release. He’s the senior director of the Fraser Institute’s energy and natural resource studies and co-author of the survey.

Quebec is the only other Canadian jurisdiction in the top-10 worldwide for overall investment attractiveness. The province ranks third in Canada and 6th globally — up from 8th spot last year. Yukon ranks 15th globally.

B.C. and Ontario dropped in this year’s rankings. Internationally, Ontario places 18th (down three spots from last year) and B.C. ranks 27th (falling from 18th).

“Ontario and B.C fell this year because these provinces continue to be hampered by uncertainty surrounding land claims,” says Taylor Jackson, a senior policy analyst with the Fraser Institute and survey co-author, in a release.

This year, the Fraser Institute also released a separate study on the exploration permitting process.

Overall, Canadian provinces tend to get necessary permits to explorers faster than other international jurisdictions, but there’s room for improvement. The study finds that B.C. and the Territories are laggards in Canada.

For instance, B.C. lags Ontario and Quebec in issuing permits to explorers and providing a transparent permit process.

“Time is money, and, if permit approval times are unnecessarily long or lack transparency, confidence plummets, overall costs increase and investors will take their money elsewhere,” Green says in the release.

Here are the rankings for investment attractiveness around the world:

  • Saskatchewan
  • Manitoba
  • Western Australia
  • Nevada
  • Finland
  • Quebec
  • Arizona
  • Sweden
  • Ireland
  • Queensland (Australia)

Read the full mining survey here. Read the permit report here.

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