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Minister O’Dowd welcomes Ireland’s position as 4th in the World for Good Mining Policy

tara mine surface

Dublin, 5 March 2013

The Minister of State for Natural Resources, Fergus O’Dowd TD, has welcomed the annual Survey of Mining Companies results published by the Fraser Institute of Canada (3 March 2014), in which Ireland ranked fourth in the world among 112 jurisdictions for good mining policy.

Jurisdictions with the highest scores are: Sweden, Finland, Alberta (Canada), Ireland, Wyoming (USA), Western Australia, New Brunswick (Canada), Nevada (USA), Newfoundland and Labrador(Canada), and Norway.

“This placing compares to Ireland’s previous performance at 6th out of 96 jurisdictions in 2012; 9th out of 93 in 2011 when we broke in to the top ten; 16th among 79 in 2010”, commented the Minister. Ireland was placed 17th of 72 in 2009 and 26th out of 71 jurisdictions included in the survey in 2008.

Minister O’Dowd was particularly pleased at the assessment in eight categories that go to make up the overall ranking, where Ireland scored in the top five including; Infrastructure (includes access to roads, power availability, etc.) (rank 1); Quality of the geological database (rank 2); Taxation regime (rank 3), Socio economic agreements/community development conditions (rank 3) and Level of security (rank 4).

Attractive policy regime for exploration and mining companies.
This demonstrates an attractive policy regime for exploration and mining companies considering doing business in Ireland. It will support the efforts of the Department’s team currently attending the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada Annual International Convention, Trade Show and Investors Exchange in Toronto this week for companies and organisations in mineral exploration, the largest of its kind in the world.

The sustained improvement in position in relation to ‘quality of geological database’ (from 32nd in 2011 to 17th in 2012 to 2nd worldwide in 2013), reflects the Department’s policy of free release of company data with 173 exploration data reports, which include significant amounts of airborne data, published in 2013 compared to 45 in 2011; the new online viewer with 5,000 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 Indecon report – “Assessment of Economic Contribution of Mineral Exploration and Mining in Ireland” – was commissioned by Minister O’Dowd to secure independent sectoral information to support minerals policy was published in September 2013.

The Irish Mining industry.
In 2012, Ireland was Europe’s largest producer of zinc metal in concentrate (32% of all European zinc mine output, inclusive of the Russian Federation) and the 10th largest producer in the world (2.5% of world output).

“The Irish Mining industry, as 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 O’Dowd. “This latest adjudication demonstrates that we have a commensurate mining policy regime”.

“The central conclusion of the recently published independent report by Indecon 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 for editor

Fraser Institute annual survey
The Fraser Institute, in its Annual Survey of Mining Companies, 2013, ranks Ireland 4th out of 112 jurisdictions with Sweden first this year (on the Policy Potential Index, overall ranking of the survey) compared to 6th out of 96 jurisdictions in 2012; 9/93 in 2011 when we broke in to the top ten; 16/79 in 2010; 17/72 in 2009; and 26/71 in 2008.

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.

As in 2012/2013, four European jurisdictions are ranked amongst the top-10 highest jurisdictions in the survey. Sweden (ranked 2nd in 2012/2013) replaced Finland as the top-ranked jurisdiction, both in the region and in the global survey results. Finland ranked 2nd overall in 2013, while Ireland improved its score and ranking from 6th (of 96) in2012/2013 to 4th (of 112) in 2013. Norway’s ranking remained steady at 10th although it’s PPI score increased this year’, (page 72).

Ireland’s performance over the various categories in the Survey is listed below:

Figure 15: Infrastructure (includes access to roads, power availability, etc.)1
Figure 20: Quality of the geological database (includes quality and scale of maps, ease of access to information, etc.)2
Figure 12: Taxation regime3
Figure 16: Socio economic agreements/community development conditions3
Figure 1: Policy Perception Index4
Figure 10: Regulatory duplication and inconsistencies4
Figure 21: Level of security4
Figure 10: Regulatory duplication and in consistencies5
Figure 13: Uncertainty concerning disputed land claims5
Figure 18: Political stability11
Figure 11: Legal system12
Figure 8: Uncertainty concerning existing regulations14
Figure 9: Uncertainty concerning environmental regulations15
Figure 22: Availability of labor/skills17
Figure 14: Uncertainty concerning which areas will be protected18
Figure 3: Investment Attractiveness Index19
Figure 17: Trade barriers20
Figure 6: Current Practices Mineral Potential Index‡21
Figure 19: Labor regulations/employment agreements26
Figure 2: Best Practices Mineral Potential Index‡46
Figure 7: Room for improvement48

The Indecon report – “Assessment of Economic Contribution of Mineral Exploration and Mining in Ireland” – was commissioned by Minister O’Dowd to secure independent sectoral information to support minerals policy was published in September 2013.



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