While Alberta, Canada was named as the top destination for investment from mining companies, survey respondents were also asked to rank current mineral potential assuming current regulations and land use restrictions. Chile ranked number one in that category.
The country is regarded in the report as “the only jurisdiction outside of North America that consistently ranks in the top 10” for overall mining viability.
Data from the report by the Canadian Fraser Institute research organisation was released at the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) Mining Conference 2011 that concluded Wednesday in Toronto.
At the event, an exploration company president doing business in Chile said the country “has a very responsible, pro-mining stance, and reasonable environmental regime, not likely to blow up and kill the companies working there.”
The mining sector in Chile is one of the pillars of the Chilean economy and copper exports alone stand for more than one third of total government income. Most mining in Chile is concentrated in the Norte Grande region spanning most of the Atacama Desert. Products other than copper include gold, silver, molybdenum, iron and coal.
The study found that the industry is in a moment of optimism, as more than 75 percent of executives surveyed expect to increase their exploration budgets this year.
Chile also ranked 8th overall in a research document by the Fraser Institute in a global survey looking at the investment climate of mining jurisdictions.
Last month, the International Monetary Fund representative for Latin America, Nicolas Eyzaguirre, advised governments in the region to increase taxes paid by private firms for the exploitation of natural resources in their territories.
He explained that the extra income in the countries would give an “attractive fiscal dividend” that could be used in infrastructure or education, and insisted that those investments would ensure future growth.