Ranking risk: where not to invest in mining

AUSTRALIA is the least risky country for mining investment, directly contrasting with its closest neighbour Papua New Guinea which ranks among the worst in a new report by minerals industry advisor Behre Dolbear.
Ranking risk: where not to invest in mining Ranking risk: where not to invest in mining Ranking risk: where not to invest in mining Ranking risk: where not to invest in mining Ranking risk: where not to invest in mining

The group's annual study, which compiles risk assessments of key industry players, aims to illustrate the need to streamline burdensome mining policy and indicate "where not to invest".

Australia was rated safest in all risk categories except "currency stability", "political system" and "tax regime" where it was edged out by Canada.

PNG ranked poorly on social issues and was listed most risky under the criteria of permitting delays and corruption.

Out of a possible 70 points, Australia led overall with 57, Indonesia scored 27, PNG had 22 and Russia was last on the list of 25 nations with 16 points.

Resource-rich Venezuela and Zimbabwe were not considered in the study due to their inherently low ranking.

Behre Dolbear finds that social and political issues are directly correlated to the prosperity of a country's mining industry which in turn influences its general wealth.

The company sees the economic ramifications of the study's comparisons as a logical market reaction: increased resource competition will allow countries with lower perceived risks to profit from global mineral investment.

The report cites key social risk factors as oppositional agendas from local populations, including the "not in my backyard" effect in developed countries and terrorism in less developed countries.

Permitting delays were found to be the most significant mining risk in the US, which tied for last place with PNG in this criterion.

Risk from political corruption was unsurprisingly focused on poorer countries, with PNG joining South Africa and the Democratic Republic of the Congo as having the highest risk of corruption in government and pervading business practices.

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