Saskatchewan Leads Canada in Mining Investment Appeal, According to Fraser Institute Survey

Mining Projects projected across Northern Ontario - NSWPB Graphic
Mining Projects projected across Northern Ontario - NSWPB Graphic

Highlights from the Annual Mining Investment Survey

Thunder Bay, Ontario – The Fraser Institute’s latest report reinforces Saskatchewan’s position as the premier destination for mining investment in Canada, ranking it third globally in the 2024 survey. The study highlights critical factors influencing mining investment, including geologic attractiveness and government policies.

Global and National Context

The Annual Survey of Mining Companies places Utah and Nevada at the top of the global list for mining investment, with Saskatchewan securing a strong third position for the second consecutive year. This consistent ranking underscores the province’s ongoing commitment to fostering a conducive environment for mining enterprises.

Canadian Provinces on the Global Stage

In addition to Saskatchewan’s stellar performance, other Canadian regions like Quebec, Manitoba, Newfoundland & Labrador, and Ontario have also made it into the top ten for overall investment attractiveness. This widespread recognition reflects Canada’s rich mineral potential and its appeal to global investors.

Challenges Ahead for Some Canadian Jurisdictions

Despite the positive outlook for many Canadian provinces, Yukon and the Northwest Territories face significant hurdles. These regions have struggled to capitalize on their geological endowments due to less favorable policy environments, ranking them lower on the list at 28th and 45th, respectively.

British Columbia’s Policy Struggles

Investor concerns regarding disputed land claims and environmental regulations have led to British Columbia’s lower performance on the policy front. These issues highlight the broader national challenge of balancing resource development with environmental and indigenous rights.

Overall Investment Attractiveness for Canadian Provinces and Territories
(out of 86 worldwide)

Province/Territory Rank Province/Territory Rank
Saskatchewan 3 New Brunswick* 23
Quebec 5 Northwest Territories 24
Manitoba 6 British Columbia 25
Newfoundland and Labrador 9 Alberta 36
Ontario 10 Nunavut 39
Yukon 16 Nova Scotia 75

Importance of Regulatory Framework

Elmira Aliakbari, director of the Fraser Institute’s Centre for Natural Resource Studies, emphasizes the critical role of sound and predictable regulatory regimes in attracting mining investment. She advises that mineral potential alone is insufficient without supportive policies.

Local Impact and Opportunities For Thunder Bay and the broader Northwestern Ontario region, the findings of this survey could signal new opportunities in the mining sector. With Ontario ranked tenth globally, there is potential for increased investment and development in the area’s rich mineral resources. Local policymakers and businesses may consider strategies to enhance the region’s attractiveness to investors, capitalizing on Ontario’s strong position in the global mining landscape.

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