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Policymakers have work to do to boost Ontario's mining reputation

Fraser Institute releases annual ranking of favourable global mining jurisdictions
(Argonaut Gold photo)

Ontario has abundant mineral resources but still has work to do when comes to mining-friendly policies, according to the annual mining survey released by the Fraser Institute.

This report from the Vancouver public policy think-tank ranked 62 global jurisdictions based on their mineral attractiveness and government policies that either encourage or discourage exploration and investment.

Ontario dropped in its ranking from 17th in 2021 to 18th in 2022. 

When asked about this province, survey respondents in the mining industry brought up infrastructure, socioeconomic agreements and community development conditions, and uncertainty regarding dispute land claims. Industry executives expressed concern over political stability, labour regulations and the legal system.

Saskatchewan led all provinces and territories as the top-rated Canadian jurisdiction for mining investment.

On overall investment attractiveness, Saskatchewan ranked third, followed by Newfoundland & Labrador at fourth and Quebec at eighth. 

Nevada was named the top-ranked jurisdiction worldwide. Western Australia is second.  

The institute said that some provinces and territories are not capitalizing on their strong mineral potential due to a lack of a solid policy environment that would attract investment.

Ontario and Manitoba, despite being among the top ten most attractive jurisdictions for mineral potential, globally rank 18th and 24th respectively when considering policy factors alone, the report said.

“A sound and predictable regulatory regime coupled with competitive fiscal policies help make a jurisdiction attractive in the eyes of mining investors,” said Elmira Aliakbari, director of the Fraser Institute’s Centre for Natural Resource Studies and co-author of the study.

“Policymakers in every province and territory should understand that mineral deposits alone are not enough to attract investment.”

When it comes to permitting in Canada, 80 percent of respondents for Quebec and 67 percent for Ontario indicated that the permitting authority met its own established timelines or milestones either most of the time or some of the time.


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