However, only two Canadian jurisdictions (Saskatchewan at 2nd and Quebec at 8th) were in the top ten on the Investment Attractiveness Index (IAI).
Australia continued to be an attractive mining investment destination; the region as a whole beat Canada and the US in 2015 to become the most attractive region in the world for investment, when both policy and mineral potential were considered.
Western Australia was rated the most attractive jurisdiction in the world this year, based on its Investment Attractiveness score. Northern Territory (7th) and South Australia (10th) were also among the top ten most attractive jurisdictions in which to invest. Only Western Australia appeared in the global top ten on the PPI, coming in at 8th.
The Vancouver-based institute’s Annual Survey of Mining Companies, released last week, attempted to assess how mineral endowments and public policy factors, such as taxation and regulatory uncertainty, affected exploration investment.
A total of 449 responses were received for the survey, providing sufficient data to evaluate 109 jurisdictions, compared with 122 jurisdictions in 2014, 112 in 2013, 96 in 2012/2013, and 93 in 2011/2012.
Saskatchewan remained in 2nd place on the IAI this year. Nevada dropped to 3rd, after Western Australia displaced it as the most attractive jurisdiction in the world. Ireland moved up ten spots into 4th place. Rounding out the top ten were Finland, Alaska, Northern Territory, Quebec, Utah and South Australia.
When considering both policy and mineral potential in the IAI, the Argentinian province of La Rioja ranked as the least attractive jurisdiction in the world for investment. La Rioja replaced Venezuela as the least attractive jurisdiction in the world.
The complete list of bottom ten jurisdictions (beginning with the worst) were La Rioja, Venezuela, Honduras, Greece, Solomon Islands, Chubut, Guinea (Conakry), Kenya, Mendoza and Rio Negro.
For the third year in a row, Ireland had the highest PPI score of 100. Wyoming followed in second place, moving up from 9th place the previous year. Along with Ireland and Wyoming the top ten ranked jurisdictions are Sweden, Saskatchewan, Finland, Nevada, Alberta, Western Australia, New Brunswick and Portugal.
The ten least attractive jurisdictions for investment based on the PPI rankings were (starting with the worst): Venezuela, Myanmar, La Rioja, Zimbabwe, Chubut, Neuquén, Niger, Kyrgyzstan, Rio Negro and Honduras. Kyrgyzstan, Zimbabwe and Venezuela were all in the bottom ten jurisdictions last year. Four out of the ten lowest rated jurisdictions based on policy were Argentinian provinces. Displaced from the bottom ten in 2015 were the Philippines, Bolivia, Ecuador, Mendoza and Mongolia.
The median PPI score for Africa on policy factors improved slightly this year. This was also the case for the region’s median investment attractiveness score, according to the institute.
However, on both measures, Africa had not been able to return to the previous high scores it achieved in 2011. Despite that, in terms of overall investment attractiveness, as a region, Africa now ranked ahead of Oceania, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as Argentina.
Two African countries, Zimbabwe (106th) and Niger (103rd), ranked in the bottom ten of the survey rankings this year based on policy. Zimbabwe was also among the bottom ten in the previous five years. Kenya and Guinea (Conakry) were the only two African jurisdictions in the global bottom ten based on their overall investment attractiveness. Zimbabwe just missed being in the bottom ten this year, after placing there in the previous four years.
South Africa placed 11th in the IAI, behind top Africa investment destination Morocco and neighbours Namibia (4th) and Botswana (5th). Respondents cited the South African government’s suggested restrictions on commodities exports and an imposed price structure as the country's biggest drawback.