A authoritative survey has once again ranked Botswana as Africa’s premier mining destination and the 17th best place in the world to invest in minerals, marking the sixth year in a row that the country has enjoyed the honours.
According to the latest released Fraser Institute Annual Survey of
Mining Companies 2011/2012, Botswana is ahead of countries such as Chile,Norway and New Zealand, as well as renowned mining provinces in Canada, Australia and the United States.
About 800 exploration, development and other mining-related companies around the world participated in the 2011 Survey, giving their perceptions of mining investment environments in 93 jurisdictions, which include provinces and countries.
In terms of countries, Botswana was the fifth most preferred mining address in the world, behind Greenland, Ireland, Sweden and Finland, in order of their rankings in the Survey.
The Survey’s respondents rank the jurisdictions in terms of their perceptions of performance across several key factors such as government policies, taxation, environment regulations, infrastructure and political stability.
According to this year’s survey, Botswana ranked top in the world for its current mineral potential, tax regime, predictable environmental regulations and the low level of inconsistencies or duplication in regulations.
The country was also highly ranked in terms of corruption, low trade barriers, political stability and low national security risks, as well as fair legal processes, low labour militancy and consistent mining policies.
Respondents praised Botswana and its government, urging other African states to emulate its example. “Botswana encourages and assists project development; it is the jurisdiction other African countries should strive to copy,” said one respondent, a president of an exploration company.
Another survey respondent, the managing director of an exploration company, was quoted as saying “The Botswana government wishes to improve the lifestyle of its people by optimising its mineral wealth; this is reflected in the policy environment.”
On other factors, Botswana ranked low in the depth of its geological database, including the quality and scale of maps and ease of access to information. The country also received low points from respondents who had a dim view of its supply of skills and labour.
On the latter, 42 percent of respondents said low supply of skills and labour were a mild to strong deterrent against mineral investment in Botswana, echoing other World Bank and IMF research on the country’s investment climate.
Founded in 1974, the Canada-based Fraser Institute is an independent research and educational organization with locations throughout North America, and international partners in over 80 countries.
Since 1997, the institute has conducted an annual survey of metal mining and exploration companies to assess how mineral endowments and public policy factors such as taxation and regulation affect exploration investment. Survey results represent the opinions of executives and exploration managers in mining and mining consulting companies operating around the world.