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Ireland first in the world for attractiveness of mining policy to industry

tara mines

Dublin, 19 March 2015

Minister of State with responsibility for Natural Resources, Joe McHugh TD, welcomed the results published by the Fraser Institute of Canada from its Survey of Mining Companies for 2014, in which Ireland placed 11th in the overall Investment Attractiveness Index of 122 jurisdictions, up from 19th position out of 112 in 2013.

Ireland ranked first globally in the Policy Perception Index which ranks the attractiveness of Government mining policies to industry. A regions policy climate is an important consideration for making decisions on where to invest. Ireland scored 96.0 out a possible 100 ahead of Finland (94.7), Alberta (94.7), New Brunswick (89.8),Saskatchewan (89.7), Newfoundland & Labrador,(88.4), Wyoming (87.9), Manitoba (85.6), and Western Australia (84.9).

“I am pleased to see that Ireland has achieved first position in the Policy Perception Index which measures Industry’s confidence in Government mining policies. This placing compares well to Ireland’s previous performance of 4th out of 112 jurisdictions in 2013; 6th out of 96 in 2012, 9th out of 93 in 2011 and continues a trend of Ireland being in the Top 10 for good mining policy which attracts investment”, commented the Minister.

Minister McHugh was particularly pleased with Ireland achieving three further global rankings of first for Political Stability, lowest level of Regulatory duplication and inconsistencies and a good Taxation Regime that go to make up the overall ranking in the Investment Attractiveness Index.

Attractive policy regime for exploration and mining companies
This demonstrates an attractive policy regime for exploration and mining companies considering doing business in Ireland. The ‘quality of geological database’ (from 32nd in 2011 to a current position of 6th worldwide in 2014), reflects the Department’s policy of free release of company data with 321 exploration data reports, published in 2014 compared to 173 in 2011; an online viewer with 5,500 drill hole logs released; and also the recent completion by the Geological Survey of Ireland of the Tellus Border project. That project, funded by InterReg, extended world-class coupled geophysical and geochemical surveys from Northern Ireland into the border counties of Ireland from 2010-2013.

The Irish Mining industry
In 2013, Ireland was Europe’s largest producer of zinc metal in concentrate (30% of all European zinc mine output, inclusive of the Russian Federation) and the 10th largest producer in the world (2.2% of world output).

“The Irish Mining industry, is a significant global player in terms of zinc and lead output, a strong, competitive industry that punches above its weight in the international arena,” said Minister Mc Hugh. “The central conclusion of the 2013 “Assessment of Economic Contribution of Mineral Exploration and Mining in Ireland” by Indecon International Economic Consultants is that the economic value-added contribution of the mining and mineral exploration industry to the Irish economy is considerable and far reaching”, he added.

That report estimated the “economy-wide expenditure impact” of the sector in 2012 at €809.7 million and found that the activities of exploration and mining companies directly and indirectly supported over 3,300 full-time, jobs in 2012.

The Minister stated that it is Government policy to support the search for, and responsible development of, further mineral resources so that these positive impacts can continue to be enjoyed in the future.

Notes to Editors

Fraser Institute annual survey.

The Fraser Institute, in its Annual Survey of Mining Companies, 2014, ranks Ireland 1st out of 122 jurisdictions (on the Policy Perspective Index) compared to 4th out of 112 jurisdictions in 2013, 6th out of 96 jurisdictions in 2012; 9/93 in 2011; 16/79 in 2010; 17/72 in 2009; and 26/71 in 2008. Ireland ranked 11th out of 122 jurisdictions in the overall Investment Attractiveness Index which combines our 1st in Policy Perspective Index and 42nd Best Practice Minerals Potential Index.

The Fraser Institute has conducted an annual survey of mining and exploration companies since 1997 to assess how mineral endowments and public policy factors such as taxation and regulation affect exploration investment. Survey results now represent the opinions of executives and exploration managers in mining and mining consulting companies operating around the world.

In 2014 Finland finished 1st in the overall Global Investment Attractiveness Index with Ireland improving its position from 19thout of 112 in 2013 to finish just outside the top 10 in 11th place in 2014 finishing best of European countries after Finland. Sweden filled 12th position in the index with Norway’s ranking dropping to 43rd from 26th in 2013.

The report noted that “Europe’s median investment attractiveness score experienced a noteworthy decline of almost 10 points this year, although Europe does have some of the most attractive jurisdictions in the world for investment, including three in the global top 15: Finland (1st), Ireland (11th), and Sweden (12th).”

Ireland’s performance over the various categories in the Survey is as follows:

Figure 1: Overall Investment Attractiveness Index 1911
Figure 2: Policy Perception Index 41
Figure 3: Best Practices Mineral Potential Index4642
Figure 6: Room For Improvement 48106
Figure 7: Current Mineral Potential Index2112
Figure 19: Uncertainty concerning existing regulations142
Figure20: Uncertainty concerning environmental regulations1535
Figure 21: Regulatory duplication and inconsistencies51
Figure 22: Legal System 128
Figure 23: Taxation regime31
Figure 24: Uncertainty concerning disputed land claims57
Figure 25: Uncertainty concerning which areas will be protected1835
Figure 26: Quality of Infrastructure 114
Figure 27: Socio economic agreements/community development conditions37
Figure 28: Trade Barriers 204
Figure 29: Political Stability 111
Figure 30: Labour regulations/employment agreements2629
Figure 31: Quality of the geological database26
Figure 32: Security 48
Figure 33: Availability Labour/Skills 1715

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