Botswana received praise at a Fraser Institute briefing on their soon-to-be published Annual Survey of Mining Companies held during PDAC at MineAfrica’s 21st Annual Investing in African Mining Seminar. The country ranks as one of the world’s top ten mining destinations.
‘’The survey is an attempt to assess how mineral endowments and public policy factors such as taxation and regulatory uncertainty affect exploration investment. The survey was circulated electronically to almost 2,000 mining executives for their input, on which the survey is based,’’ explained Dr. Elmira Aliakbari, Director of the Centre for Natural Resource Studies at the Fraser Institute, who delivered the briefing.
Dr. Aliakbari says the total rankings comprise 40% on perception of policy and 60% on the perception of geological potential when weighted together for the overall results.
‘’An overall Investment Attractiveness Index is constructed by combining the Best Practices Mineral Potential index, which rates regions based on their geologic attractiveness, and the Policy Perception Index, a composite index that measures the effects of government policy on attitudes toward exploration investment. While it is useful to measure the attractiveness of a jurisdiction based on policy factors such as onerous regulations, taxation levels, the quality of infrastructure, and the other policy related questions that respondents answered, the Policy Perception Index alone does not recognize the fact that investment decisions are often sizably based on the pure mineral potential of a jurisdiction. Indeed, respondents consistently indicate that approximately 40 percent of their investment decision is determined by policy factors,’’ explained Aliakbari.
‘’The intention of this forum was to provide an opportunity to better understand the industry’s perceptions of each country, given that perceptions have a real-life impact on everyday decisions of investors,’’ says Wayne Floreani, President of MineAfrica Inc.
He added, ‘’We are honoured that the Fraser Institute chose MineAfrica’s 21st Annual Investing in African Mining Seminar to share exclusive insights on the latest results. While geological deposits aren’t a decision of policymakers, African decision-makers – like their peers around the world – can lead with sound policy responses, as the case of Botswana shows.’’
Concluding this week’s briefing during PDAC, Elmira Aliakbari says she welcomed requests for ongoing engagement by public and private sector leaders who are working towards addressing and improving policy perceptions presented in the latest survey results, for any jurisdiction, including an explanation of the underlying methodology of the report.
“I thank country and company representatives who have requested further engagement, as part of pro-actively addressing concerns around perception, based on the survey results and understanding the methodology’’ added Aliakbari.
The perception-grounded survey is one of numerous Fraser Institute publications. The data-rich Economic Freedom of the World report – with 42 overall economic indicators – has been profiled at other recent Canadian events on African markets, including South Africa and Zimbabwe. “With proven reforms we’ve researched, there is no reason African countries could not become some of the most economically free and prosperous nations on earth,’’ says Fred McMahon, a Fraser Institute Resident Fellow and holder of the Dr. Michael A. Walker Chair in Economic Freedom, who underscored the significant potential and promise of individual countries across the African continent.