Western Australia is the world’s most attractive state for mining investment, according to a new survey which counters claims by mining industry leaders including Gina Rinehart about Australia’s sliding competitiveness in the sector.
Late last year Rinehart made a rare video appearance warning that Australia is becoming “too expensive and too uncompetitive”, drawing attention to the nations high wages and comparing them to the minimal amount African workers are paid for doing the same job.
“Business as usual will not do, not when West African competitors can offer our biggest customers an average capital cost for a tonne of iron ore that’s $100 under the price offered by an emerging producer in the Pilbara,” she said at the time.
“Furthermore, Africans want to work, and its workers are willing to work for less than $2 per day. Such statistics make me worry for this country’s future.”
But it seems the investment landscape is quite healthy – especially in the west.
Releasing its results for the 2013 mining survey results this week, the Fraser Institute found WA is the top rated region for investment attractiveness scoring 85.3 out of a possible 100 points.
Surveying 690 mineral and exploration companies across the globe WA beat Nevada (84.2), Newfoundland and Labrador (81.3) to take out the top spot.
The survey assesses how mineral endowment and public policy factors affect exploration investment.
To find a region’s overall investment attractiveness the Fraser Institute rates regions based on geological attractiveness and measures the effects of government policy on exploration investment attitudes.
WA Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Marmion said WA was becoming increasingly competitive on the world stage.
“These positive results reinforce that WA has what it takes to be globally competitive, but we know our work is far from done and it is important not to be complacent,” Marmion said.
But he warned with competition mounting in the fight for capital allocation getting government policy right is critical.
“Increasing competition for global capital means that without the right policies, companies will simply look elsewhere to develop resource projects,” Marmion said.
WA also ranked second in the world in the Best Practices Mineral Potential Index and sixth in the PPI.
“WA has a dynamic, world class resources industry which underpins the State and national economies,” he said.
The Investment Attractiveness Index also listed the Northern Territory in 17th spot scoring 74.7, followed by South Australia, 20 with a score of 73.8 and Queensland at number 21 with 73.5.
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