The Northwest Territories is the 10th most attractive jurisdiction for mining investment globally.
This according to an annual survey of mining companies published by the Fraser Institute, which asked 291 survey participants about factors including geological potential and policy issues including infrastructure, taxation and regulations. All three territories improved in the ranking this year, with the NWT jumping from 21st to 10th, the Yukon moving from 13th to 9th and Nunavut rising from 26th to 15th.
“All three of Canada’s territories improved their rank this year, as investors eye the north’s mineral potential more favourably,” the Fraser Institute says.
The survey found the time it takes to get approvals is increasing across Canada, a notable exception being the NWT where survey respondents say times have stayed the same or decreased.
Of those who responded to a survey question on the amount of time they expected to spend getting licenses, permits or notices of work, 70 per cent answered it would take two months or less in the NWT. A full 80 per cent responded they had received necessary permits in less than six months.
The territory didn’t do quite as well on questions of transparency of the permitting process. When asked how the level of transparency affects exploration investment, 50 per cent answered it doesn’t affect the investment, while 20 per cent answered it is a mild deterrent and 20 per cent said it was a strong deterrent.
When respondents were asked how confident they were they would get mining permits, only 60 per cent responded they were confident or highly confident of this for the NWT.
The annual report by the Vancouver-based conservative think tank ranked jurisdictions along an Investment Attractiveness Index, which looked at both mineral potential and the effects of government policy on ‘attitudes towards exploration investment.’