SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska



March 12, 2013

(SitNews) - Alaska’s ranking improved in the Fraser Institute’s 2012/2103 survey of the overall attractiveness of mining investment in 96 jurisdictions around the world.

The institute’s annual survey of mining and exploration companies looks at how a jurisdiction’s mineral endowment and public policy affects exploration investment. The Fraser Institute Annual Survey of Mining Companies was sent to approximately 4,100 exploration, development, and other mining-related companies world-wide. The survey represents responses from 742 of those companies, which has provided sufficient data to evaluate 96 jurisdictions.

In the 2012/2013 survey released last week, Alaska ranked 19th out of the 96 jurisdictions in terms of policy attractiveness. In the 2011/2012 survey, Alaska ranked 25th out of 93 jurisdictions.

According to the report, the overall policy attractiveness of Alaska improved in the past year due to “increased survey ratings for availability of labour and skills (13 percent); the quality of the geological database (11 percent); and infrastructure (8 percent).”

“This new report shows how our collaboration with the Alaska Legislature, industry, educators and other stakeholders is helping to improve opportunities and increase jobs in Alaska,” said Natural Resources Commissioner Dan Sullivan. “The hard work of many Alaskans is reflected in this improved ranking for the State, including work by State Geologist Bob Swenson and officials from the Department of Labor and Workforce Development.”

The Parnell Administration launched a strategic and critical minerals strategy in 2011, which focuses on increasing responsible exploration and development in the mineral sector. Key elements of the strategy include providing modern geological and geophysical data regarding lands open to mineral exploration and securing funding to support infrastructure needed to access mineral prospects.

“Workforce availability does increase investment,” Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development Dianne Blumer said. “Our latest Research and Analysis’ industry forecast indicates Alaska will add almost 500 jobs in mining and support activities between 2010 and 2020, up 19 percent. We will also need to fill hundreds more jobs to replace workers who retire or change occupations.”

“It is good to see that our statewide assessment of Alaska’s mineral potential is being recognized by industry in this report,” said Bob Swenson, State Geologist and director of DNR’s Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys, which has played a lead role in improving the state’s geological data collection and publication methods.

For the first time since 2006/2007, no Canadian jurisdiction ranked first in the survey. Both Quebec and Saskatchewan dropped out of the top 10 in the rankings, to 11th and 13th respectively.

The companies participating in the survey reported exploration spending of $6.2 billion in U.S. dollars in 2012.


Edited by Mary Kauffman, SitNews


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