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Posts tagged ‘sweden’

December 9th, 2015

Copper imports by China jump to 22-month high in November NAI 500
Canada Pension Plan invests in Chinese bank Stockhouse
Sweden declares war on cash, punishes savers with negative interest rates GoldSeek
Is the European Union worth saving? Equities Canada
Invest like a fund manager: Tips from the Silver Summit Streetwise Reports
Mines and Money ’15: Financiers urged to have patience with mining investments Industrial Minerals
Dr. Clay: That mud bath might actually be good for you Geology for Investors

December 8th, 2015

Sweden declares war on cash, punishes savers with negative interest rates GoldSeek
Is the European Union worth saving? Equities Canada
Invest like a fund manager: Tips from the Silver Summit Streetwise Reports
Mines and Money ’15: Financiers urged to have patience with mining investments Industrial Minerals
Gold coin bugs: No, we’re not crazy for buying NAI 500
Tax loss selling 101: Start thinking about cutting your losers Stockhouse
Dr. Clay: That mud bath might actually be good for you Geology for Investors

West African plant might indicate kimberlite below

May 7th, 2015

by Greg Klein | May 7, 2015

Calling it a potential game-changer for west African diamond exploration, a geologist says he’s found a plant that might grow only above kimberlites, the Huffington Post reported May 7. While tromping through the Liberian jungle Stephen Haggerty, a professor at Florida International University and head of exploration for Youssef Diamond Mining, came across a thorny plant called Pandanus candelabrum, the journal stated.

West African plant might indicate kimberlite below

Pandanus candelabrum, associated with
Liberian kimberlites, is seen here in Burkina Faso.
Photo: Marco Schmidt/Wikimedia Commons

It’s “the first plant to be described that has a marked affinity for kimberlite pipes,” Haggerty writes in the current edition of Economic Geology. “This could dramatically change the exploration dynamics for diamonds in west Africa, as geobotanical mapping and sampling is cost-effective in tough terrain.”

Unique as this discovery is, it’s hardly the first to associate specific vegetation with mineral deposits. Since the Middle Ages plants like Lychnis alpina have been linked to copper in Sweden, Haggerty pointed out. More recently Haumaniastrum katangense has been associated with copper in Africa. “Other plants have evolved to physiologically stabilize heavy metals … in leaves and bark,” he stated, adding that termite hills have been used to find kimberlite indicator minerals in Botswana, the U.S. and Australia.

Biogeochemistry, the collection and analysis of vegetation samples, can reveal chemical elements absorbed from soil and water, explains Robert Stevens in Mineral Exploration and Mining Essentials. “In some circumstances, biogeochemistry may be a more effective way of identifying anomalies than soil samples,” he related. “This is because tree roots will sample a relatively large and deep area of soil” which can be more representative than a single soil sample. Tree-borne metal anomalies also tend to be closer to their source.

The HP noted 2013 reports of gold-bearing eucalyptus trees that ingested the yellow metal from soil.

Haggerty hopes to find more Liberian kimberlites through satellite mapping of his botanical breakthrough, the HP stated.

China has likely reached peak graphite: Benchmark Mineral Intelligence

December 15th, 2014

by Greg Klein | December 15, 2014

Production from the world’s largest supplier of natural graphite dropped to a record low in 2014, according to a December note from Benchmark Mineral Intelligence. After hitting a high of 85% of global supply in 2013, China fell to 70% this year, writes Benchmark analyst Simon Moores. Over the next three to five years the country’s output will continue falling to about 50% or 60% of world production. That means “we have likely seen peak graphite supply in China.”

Although demand from the steelmaking industry should continue to grow between 1% and 3% a year, batteries will call for five to 10 times as much graphite, Moores adds. He asks whether consumers will turn to synthetic material to make up the shortfall.

But the market’s currently oversupplied with both natural and synthetic, according to Laura Syrett of Industrial Minerals. Reporting from the Graphite and Graphene Conference in Berlin on December 12, she attributed the glut to a three-year slowdown in steelmaking and slower-than-expected growth in the battery industry.

Still, “growth will come from the battery market,” she quoted Asbury Graphite Mills CEO Stephen Riddle. “This will be from batteries used in electric vehicles and energy storage—not cell phones or iPads. These don’t use enough graphite.”

Synthetic graphite could claim a larger share of the market despite its price, said Fabrizio Corti, senior VP for sales and business development at Imerys Graphite and Carbon. “Only a very small proportion of the graphite we have today is suitable for high-end markets and even this requires heavy processing.”

With natural graphite producers wasting about 60% of volume to create battery-grade material, natural and synthetic costs roughly the same, he told the conference.

Two former flake graphite mines re-opened in 2014, Syrett pointed out. Last April AIM-listed StratMin Global Resources began commercial production at its Loharano mine in Madagascar. In August Flinders Resources TSXV:FDR produced the first concentrate from its Woxna mine in central Sweden.

Flinders has signed a binding letter agreement to acquire Big North Graphite TSXV:NRT, which holds a number of projects in Canada and Mexico including Nuevo San Pedro in Sonora state, a joint venture in which the company test-mines and sells amorphous graphite.

Graphite M&A: Flinders to take over Big North, acquire Mexican past-producer

September 2nd, 2014

by Greg Klein | September 2, 2014

Two companies focused on former graphite mines would become one under a binding letter agreement announced September 2. Flinders Resources TSXV:FDR, which last month began production at its Woxna mine in Sweden, intends to acquire Big North Graphite TSXV:NRT, which holds the El Tejon project in Mexico. Like Woxna, El Tejon is a past-producing flake graphite mine that was placed on care and maintenance.

Flinders to take over Big North, acquire Mexican past-producer

A mine and mill acquired last May brought
Big North to the attention of Flinders Resources.

Flinders is credited with first place in graphite’s race to production but was actually second to Big North, which has been test-mining and selling amorphous graphite from its 11-hectare, Nuevo San Pedro 50/50 joint venture in Mexico’s Sonora state. The company also holds graphite properties in Ontario and Quebec.

But Flinders has its eye on Big North’s El Tejon, a 500-hectare property with an open pit mine and mill in southern Mexico that’s been on care and maintenance since 2002. The mine has produced graphite in large, medium and fine flakes. An historic, non-43-101 report from 1990 attributed grades of 3.54% and 3.79% graphitic carbon (Cg) respectively to two deposits.

Big North closed that acquisition in May for US$1.7 million, 12.5 million shares and a 3% net profits interest. The company stated it expected the project to be fully permitted within six months. An estimated US$2.25 million would refurbish the mill’s first line, Big North added.

Flinders has an opening ceremony planned for its central Sweden project this month, after re-starting operations in early August. The open pit and mill had been on care and maintenance since 2001. The project has measured and indicated resources totalling 2.8 million tonnes averaging 10.7% Cg. Flinders hopes to increase those numbers by proving up historic resources.

The deal would swap one Flinders share for nine Big North shares. Among other conditions, the latter company’s outstanding debentures must be redeemed or converted to Big North shares. The parties plan to complete due diligence by October 6. Big North shareholders will vote by December 15. The company faces a $500,000 break fee if it pulls out under certain circumstances.

Should all go to plan Big North would become a wholly owned subsidiary of Flinders, anticipated to be run by the bigger fish’s management.

Read more about Flinders Resources.

Read about Tesla Motors’ prospects for graphite.

Flinders first in graphite’s race to production

August 6th, 2014

by Greg Klein | August 6, 2014

Announcing its first graphite concentrate from the Woxna mine in central Sweden, Flinders Resources TSXV:FDR claims first place in the Canadian-listed juniors’ quest for flake graphite production. The company’s advantage came from a past-producer that had been on care and maintenance since 2001.

In an August 6 announcement Flinders said it began operations last month, has completed wet commissioning and produced its first graphite concentrate.

Flinders first in graphite’s race to production

“All is on track for full commissioning, with customers now coming to site to confirm our capabilities and discuss expanded supply contracts,” said president/CEO Blair Way.

Describing the operation as “a sustainable European alternative to Chinese supply,” he added, “Now that we have the confidence in our facility and product, we are working to expand our resource base through proving up our historical resources.”

While announcing its first sales contract last May, Flinders stated it was developing a European sales and distribution network. The company plans a formal opening ceremony for Woxna next month.

Flinders overtook another past-producer held by the privately owned Ontario Graphite. Having missed a 2013 re-start target, the company now says its Kearney mine, 250 kilometres north of Toronto, will re-open sometime this year and be fully operational in 2015. “At full capacity, Ontario Graphite projects annual production of 20,000 tonnes of high-quality (95% to 97% Cg) large flake graphite mineral concentrate.”

But Flinders’ production followed that of the UK’s only listed graphite company, Stratmin Global Resources AIM:STGR, which began commercial production at its Loharano mine in Madagascar last April. The company produced 195 tonnes of +90% graphitic carbon (Cg) during Q2 and expects to raise that to 300 tonnes per month in September, with a longer-range forecast of 1,000 tonnes per month.

One junior that outpaced everyone—albeit in a different contest—was Big North Graphite TSXV:NRT. The company has been test-mining an 11-hectare amorphous past-producer in Mexico’s Sonora state. Big North sells semi-processed run of mine from the 50/50 joint venture and from product purchased from other regional mines.

Read more about graphite’s front-runners.

Athabasca Basin and beyond

April 12th, 2014

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for April 5 to 11, 2014

by Greg Klein

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Fission Uranium reports seven strong holes from Patterson Lake South

They probably don’t surprise anyone anymore but Fission Uranium’s (TSXV:FCU) weekly dispatches from Patterson Lake South continue to impress. Radiometric readings from all seven holes released April 7 showed wide intervals and “off-scale” radioactivity.

The results, which are no substitute for assays, come from a hand-held scintillometer that measures gamma radioactivity from drill core in counts per second up to a maximum possible (“off-scale”) reading of 9,999 cps. Lab results are pending.

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for April 5 to 11, 2014

Fission Uranium found off-scale radiometric readings for intervals
from each of seven holes in this week’s news from Patterson Lake South.

This week’s batch comes from zone 780E, the third of five zones along a west-east strike that just last week extended to 2.24 kilometres and remains open at both ends.

The star hole was PLS14-201, which gave up a composite total of 82.5 metres (not true widths) of mineralization including a composite of 16.8 metres straining the scintillometer at 9,999 cps. The interval closest to surface began at 84 metres in downhole depth while the deepest stopped at 340.5 metres.

The other six holes showed intervals in roughly similar ranges of depth, with one beginning as close as 58.5 metres from surface and the deepest ending at 415 metres.

The company has now finished 70 of 100 holes totalling 30,000 metres planned for the $12-million winter campaign. Four rigs will sink about 85 of those holes to delineate the 31,039-hectare project’s main mineralized trend. A fifth rig explores farther away.

Also on April 7 Fission Uranium granted insiders 500,000 options at $1.65 for five years. The previous week the company granted 6.5 million options on the same terms.

Lakeland Resources stakes five more Saskatchewan properties totalling 52,255 hectares

A quintet of new acquisitions in and around the Athabasca Basin bolstered Lakeland Resources’ (TSXV:LK) portfolio to 16 properties totalling about 157,000 hectares. The turf came through staking which, president/CEO Jonathan Armes told on April 11, is ideal for juniors “because you own it 100% with no encumbrances, underlying NSRs and so on.”

Neil McCallum, a company director and project geologist/manager with Dahrouge Geological Consulting, says Lakeland had been studying the properties while waiting for them to come available. “A lot of people get land because it’s in or near the Basin without targeting anything in particular. You can do a lot of research, if you know what you’re looking for, to find good targets before you acquire them.”

A lot of people get land because it’s in or near the Basin without targeting anything in particular. You can do a lot of research, if you know what you’re looking for, to find good targets before you acquire them.—Lakeland Resources
director Neil McCallum

The new ground includes Lazy Edward Bay, a 21,990-hectare project on the Basin’s southern margin with four shallow trends that Lakeland considers drill-ready.

Just off the Basin’s northeastern rim, the 7,195-hectare Karen Lake project has yet to be drilled despite several silt samples grading over 1% uranium. Another 2,889-hectare property along the Basin’s northern edge, Black Lake has a shallow depth to the unconformity of about 260 metres and has undergone historic and recent geophysics.

The 16,925-hectare Hidden Bay sits about eight kilometres east of the Basin and hosts an outlier of Athabasca sandstone and at least four graphitic corridors. About 70 klicks south of the Basin, the 3,258-hectare Fedun Lake property sits on the Wollaston domain that hosts most of the Basin’s uranium deposits.

With cash in hand from last month’s oversubscribed $2.8-million private placement, McCallum says Lakeland is “certainly funded to prioritize the projects we want to work ourselves. If we find JV opportunities for other projects, we wouldn’t mind that either. We have enough projects that we can work some ourselves and have those JV opportunities at the same time.”

Speaking of joint ventures, Gibbon’s Creek is about to undergo a ground electromagnetic survey prior to an anticipated 2,500-metre drill campaign funded by partner Declan Resources TSXV:LAN. Boulder samples from the 12,771-hectare northern Basin project have graded as high as 4.28% uranium oxide (U3O8) while a RadonEx survey showed some of the highest measurements ever found in the Basin.

Read more about Lakeland’s new acquisitions.

MPVC/CanAlaska report radon anomalies from Northwest Manitoba project

Now trading under TSXV:UNO following its change of business, MPVC Inc joined CanAlaska Uranium TSXV:CVV on April 8 to announce “highly anomalous radon results” from the Maguire Lake area of their Northwest Manitoba project. The land-based survey covered a three-by-10-kilometre section of the 143,603-hectare project finding trends “in some cases over four kilometres and approximately 100 to 200 metres wide.” The survey also identified areas of about 400 by 800 metres where radon measured over three times the background levels, sometimes coinciding with gravity and resistivity lows.

Two islands with anomalous values also feature radioactive outcrops. Boulder samples from one island have graded up to 66% U3O8.

The Manitoba property shares some geological features with the Basin, with a distinction that “uranium mineralization outcrops within our project area rather than being deeply buried as is the case with many deposits in the Basin,” the companies stated.

Upcoming plans include a radon survey over the lake itself prior to a drill program scheduled to begin in late April. As part of its 80% option with CanAlaska, MPVC must spend $3.2 million on exploration by 2015.

The previous week CanAlaska sold its Kasmere South project in Manitoba to a private company for $1.8 million to help advance its “core Japanese and Korean joint ventures at West MacArthur and Cree East.”

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Athabasca Basin and beyond

March 29th, 2014

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for March 22 to 28, 2014

by Greg Klein

Next Page 1 | 2

Another record-breaking hole at Patterson Lake South as Fission merges more zones

Still fattening itself up for acquisition, Fission Uranium TSXV:FCU moves closer to its goal of defining one big deposit at Patterson Lake South. On March 24, for the third time in 19 days, the company announced that drilling had merged two more high-grade zones. The project now consists of four zones—two high-grade zones in the middle, with another zone on each of the east-west flanks—along a 1.78-kilometre potential strike. Mineralization remains open at both ends.

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for March 22 to 28, 2014

The field crew examines core at Patterson Lake South,
where Fission Uranium continues to exceed past performance.

And, for those not yet suffering from repetitive record-breaking fatigue induced by this project, Fission Uranium announced another best-ever hole, which “far surpasses” its last such accomplishment.

Results for the nine holes released March 24 come from a hand-held scintillometer that measures radiation from drill core in counts per second. Scintillometer results are no substitute for assays, which are still to come.

The record-breaker, hole PLS14-187, showed a composite 53.47 metres (not true width) at 9,999 cps, the maximum that the device can measure. Six other holes also showed intervals with maximum readings. The interval closest to surface began at 54.5 metres, while the deepest stopped at 452 metres in downhole depth.

The $12-million winter campaign has four rigs attacking the high-grade area, while a fifth explores farther away. No target date has been announced for the project’s maiden resource.

Forum closes $3.04-million financing, resumes drilling NW Athabasca JV

Two days before closing a private placement, Forum Uranium TSXV:FDC announced drilling had resumed at its 9,800-hectare Northwest Athabasca joint venture. The 3,000-metre program “is designed to determine the eastern extent of the mineralization discovered at Otis West and its extension onto the Otis East gravity target, both of which lie on the south side of the [historic, non-43-101] 1.5-million-pound Maurice Bay deposit,” the company stated on March 24.

Otis West shows a 50-metre strike, a depth of about 110 metres and remains open to the east and at depth, Forum added. Drilling will also test basement targets below Maurice Bay, Zone A and MB East, an untested gravity low east of Maurice Bay.

Among previous assays, last June Otis West showed 0.152% uranium oxide (U3O8) over 39.5 metres, starting at 131 metres in downhole depth. The previous month Zone A gave up 1.34% over 3 metres, starting at 88.5 metres.

Forum and NexGen Energy TSXV:NXE jointly hold 64% of the JV, with Cameco Corp TSX:CCO and AREVA Resources Canada holding 23.5% and 12.5% respectively. Forum acts as project operator.

On March 26 Forum reported closing a private placement for $3.04 million.

In late February the company began drilling its 9,910-hectare, PLS-adjacent Clearwater project. Forum has also been busy picking up other projects in Nunavut and the northeastern Basin, in the vicinity of the Lakeland Resources TSXV:LK/Declan Resources TSXV:LAN flagship Gibbon’s Creek.

Aldrin offers $500,000 placement, plans up to 4,000 metres at Triple M

It’s not clear whether drilling has yet begun, but Aldrin Resource TSXV:ALN has up to 4,000 metres planned for Triple M, a 12,001-hectare property adjacent to PLS. Previous work has shown gravity lows associated with anomalous radon values over basement conductor anomalies. More recently, an infill gravity survey helped refine targets, the company stated on March 25.

One day earlier the company offered a $500,000 private placement. The previous week Aldrin announced TSXV approval to convert $220,000 in debt to shares. The sum remained outstanding out of $500,000 to be paid to Sotet Capital for the project.

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Tesla talk electrifies stocks

March 13th, 2014

Huge plans for EV expansion would require several new graphite mines

by Greg Klein

Giga what?

It’s a “Gigafactory” and its dramatic announcement has frontrunners to graphite production basking in the news—a potential 37% increase in natural graphite demand by 2020, requiring six to nine new graphite mines. Those estimates come from the authoritative journal Industrial Minerals in the wake of Tesla Motors’ plans for a $5-billion plant to manufacture lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles. While several caveats have to be considered, graphite companies have once again come to market prominence.

The Gigafactory’s not yet a fact. Start-up is slated for 2017 but Tesla needs a location, not to mention partners. Tesla’s putting up only two-fifths of the $5-billion price tag. Writing in Morning Notes, Chris Berry states that Panasonic and Sanyo are “rumoured to be contributing as well.” IM writers Simon Moores and Andy Miller caution that “the plant is in the planning stage and capacities depend strongly on market demand.”

Huge plans for EV expansion would require several new graphite mines

Even without growth elsewhere, Tesla Motors
would dramatically increase demand for energy minerals.

Berry, who has previously called Tesla a “bellwether or benchmark for green technology and by extension energy metals,” emphasizes that the Gigafactory’s success depends “less on a secure supply of raw materials and more on the long-term price of a gallon of gas.” He also says EVs face competition from other technologies. And, although “a long shot,” current battery technology could become obsolete.

Nor has Tesla specified that its batteries will use natural graphite. Synthetic graphite might be an option but, as Berry points out, the natural stuff would help the company meet its goal of cutting manufacturing costs by half.

Moores and Miller note alternatives to graphite, such as the non-graphitic carbon anodes now in the R&D stage. But, the writers state, graphite anodes remain “the current material of choice for Li-ion battery producers.”

Should all go according to plan and assumptions, IM Data offers some intriguing estimates. Capacity operation at the Gigafactory would call for 93,000 tonnes of large flake graphite. Those grades, +80 mesh and larger, “made up just over 20% of total flake graphite output of 375,000 tonnes in 2013,” IM stated. By 2020, even with no growth in other areas, the Gigafactory could require six new mines.

That’s just the conservative estimate. “In a bullish case this could rise as high as 140,000 tonnes,” IM states, calling for nine new mines. A number of projects rank among the contenders.

Canada’s next new graphite operation would likely be Ontario Graphite’s Kearney mine, 250 kilometres north of Toronto. Having missed its 2013 target date, the privately owned company now says Kearney will re-open early this year. The large, low-grade resource would produce an annual “20,000 tonnes of natural, large flake, high carbon graphite concentrate,” the company states.

Next in line might be Flinders Resources TSXV:FDR, which plans to skip feasibility and even pre-feas to begin commercial production at Sweden’s Woxna mine by July. The company calls itself the only publicly traded company that’s completely funded for production. Its primary market would be European refractories and crucible manufacturers.

The only graphite company with full feasibility complete, not to mention an expansion case PEA and major permitting, Northern Graphite TSXV:NGC hopes to begin construction on the Bissett Creek mine in southeastern Ontario by Q4 this year, with commercial production following in Q4 2015. Negotiations are underway with potential strategic partners to take up part of the $101.6-million initial capex. One of the company’s claims to fame has even greater significance following the Tesla news. Northern is “the only junior that has successfully produced and tested spherical graphite for Li-ion batteries,” the company says.

This year has Focus Graphite TSXV:FMS focusing on feasibility and financing. In December the company signed what it terms the graphite industry’s first offtake deal, a 10-year contract with a Chinese conglomerate that will buy 20,000 to 40,000 tonnes a year. The 2013 preliminary economic assessment for the Lac Knife project in northeastern Quebec forecast total annual production at 44,000 tonnes. The PEA projected an initial capex of $126 million, which Focus hopes to raise through a combination of debt and equity.

Mason Graphite’s (TSXV:LLG) timeline has feasibility scheduled for completion in Q3 and construction beginning in Q1 2015. Last April’s PEA gave the company’s Lac Gueret project in northeastern Quebec direct costs, including contingency, totalling $107.92 million.

A company hoping to begin production in 2015, Energizer Resources TSX:EGZ has a February 2013 PEA projecting a $162.04-million capex for its Molo deposit in Madagascar. The current plan is to start small with 50,000 tonnes per year but build to a 150,000-tpa capacity as the market requires.

Not as advanced, but a prominent company nonetheless, Zenyatta Ventures TSXV:ZEN plans to finish a PEA in Q2 following last December’s maiden resource for its Albany project. The “very rare hydrothermal deposit” rejuvenated early-stage graphite activity by sparking an area play around the north-central Ontario property.

One junior that’s already selling product is Big North Graphite TSXV:NRT. The company has so far sold 760 tons produced by test-mining its 11-hectare, 50/50 Nuevo San Pedro joint venture in Mexico and by purchasing output from other small, nearby operations. The less-expensive amorphous product doesn’t serve the battery market but the company’s also pursuing flake graphite at its other properties in Mexico and Canada.

IM writers Moores and Miller compare Tesla’s plans to Henry Ford’s introduction of the assembly line to car manufacture, saying the Gigafactory “could prove just as pivotal in the emergence of the EV market, unlocking a lucrative new layer of demand for natural graphite producers.”

In his Morning Notes article, Berry points out that graphite is the largest component of the numerous materials used to make Li-ion batteries, but not the most expensive. Though Tesla’s announcement boosted graphite and lithium companies, he observes, cobalt and nickel stocks somehow missed out.

“There are a multitude of factors which will ultimately determine the success or failure of the Gigafactory,” Berry concludes. “But it is clear that reliable supply of various energy metals remains at the heart of this strategy.”

Alberta most attractive mining destination in Canada, third worldwide

March 3rd, 2014

by Cecilia Jamasmie | March 3, 2014 | Reprinted by permission of

Alberta most attractive mining destination in Canada, third worldwide

Oilsands development in northern Alberta.


For the second consecutive year, Alberta—home to the booming and controversial oilsands industry—ranked first in the country and third worldwide as the most attractive jurisdiction for mining investors in the Fraser Institute’s annual global survey of mining executives.

The study, released March 3 as the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada convention kicked off in Toronto, is based on input from 690 mineral exploration and development company executives.

Sweden and Finland scored the top places in this year’s survey, which spotlighted 112 jurisdictions worldwide. Kyrgyzstan and Venezuela were named the worst two countries to venture.

“Miners praise Alberta for its transparent and productive approach to mining policy. The province offers competitive taxation regimes, sound legal systems and relatively low uncertainty around land claims. That’s what miners look for,” said Kenneth Green, Fraser Institute senior director of energy and natural resources.

Two other Canadian jurisdictions—New Brunswick (7), and Newfoundland and Labrador (9)—ranked in the top 10 worldwide, followed by Saskatchewan (12), Yukon (19), Quebec (21), Manitoba (26), Ontario (28), Nova Scotia (29), British Columbia (32), Nunavut (44) and the Northwest Territories (47).

Quebec, once the darling of mining investors, continued to fall down the rabbit hole. From 2007 to 2009, the French-speaking district topped the survey, then dropped to fifth in 2011, 11th in 2012 and finally 21st worldwide in 2013, due in part to amendments to Quebec’s mining act and recent tax policy changes.

“If Quebec wants to renew confidence in the global mining sector, it should reduce red tape, minimize the risk associated with policy changes and tax increases, and respect negotiated contracts,” Green said.

B.C. dropped to 32nd from 31st in 2012, though the survey recorded improved perceptions regarding the western province’s political stability and availability of labour and skills.

The Canadian public policy think tank also identified the 10 places mining enthusiasts should avoid. From the bottom, they are Kyrgyzstan, Venezuela, Philippines, Argentina (La Rioja and Mendoza), Angola, Zimbabwe, Ivory Coast, Indonesia and Madagascar.

Reprinted by permission of