WA is the world’s most appealing jurisdiction for mining and exploration investment, according to the 2019 Fraser Institute’s Annual Survey.

The survey — based on 263 responses worldwide — tries to evaluate how mineral endowments and public policy factors, like tax and regulatory uncertainty, affect exploration investment.

“The Fraser Institute Survey is a good reflection of market sentiment, and this is why these rankings are so closely followed within industry,” Association of Mining and Exploration Companies (AMEC) chief exec Warren Pearce says.

“Investment attraction is critical to the success of the mineral exploration and mining industry in Australia and is needed to continue to fund mineral exploration programs that will ultimately find future mines.

“The stable regulatory environment in Western Australia has undoubtedly helped in attaining the No. 1 ranking.”

WA, which moved up from #2 spot in 2018, is followed by Finland, Nevada, Alaska, Portugal, South Australia, Republic of Ireland, Idaho, Arizona, and Sweden.

Despite boasting two of 2019’s most significant mineral discoveries – Stavely Minerals’ (ASX:SVY) Thursday’s Gossan and Alkane Resources’ (ASX:ALK) Boda — Victoria and NSW were again rated the lowest jurisdictions in Australia for both investment attractiveness and policy perception.

“The Victorian government introduced a 2.75 per cent royalty tax on gold production without adequate consultation with industry,” one anonymous producer commented.

Another explorer said that NSW’s “’permitting process is onerous and unpredictable, which deters investors.”

READ: Barry FitzGerald — How Stavely became one of the most successful exploration floats in recent years

Overall, when considering both policy and mineral potential, Australia retained its position as the second most attractive region in the world for investment. Canada fell from 1st to 3rd, and Europe claimed the #1 spot.

The least attractive jurisdiction in the world was Tanzania, which replaced Venezuela in bottom spot.

Also in the bottom 10 are Argentina, Guatemala, Dominican Republic, Zambia, Venezuela, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali, and Nicaragua.

READ: Indiana Resources is punching back over Tanzanian government’s ‘inappropriate seizure’ of Ntaka Hill