Canada’s Fraser Institute has released results of its 2013 survey of mining and mineral exploration companies worldwide, revealing very favourable rankings for Ireland in several key areas attracting mining-related investment. In 2013 Ireland ranked 4th out of 112 jurisdictions worldwide for overall attractiveness for investment, representing an improvement of two places from 2012. Responses from 742 mining-related companies worldwide also reveal how Ireland’s infrastructure, taxation regime, socioeconomic/community development conditions and regulatory systems see Ireland ranked in the top ten in the world for these metrics, which represent improvements across the board from 2012.
Most significantly for GSI, the quality of Ireland’s geological databases is considered second in the world, up from 17th in 2012. This comes after the successful completion of the Tellus Border project, which extended world-class coupled geophysical and geochemical surveys from Northern Ireland into the border counties of Ireland from 2010-2013. The completion of similar mapping in Northern Ireland saw an increase of mineral exploration investment of an estimated £32M, while even before the completion of Tellus Border, it was estimated that €1M inward investment has been committed through new prospecting licence applications in the border region of Ireland. During 2013, 59% of all prospecting licence applications received by the Exploration and Mining Division were for this region.
GSI is working towards extending Tellus-style surveying countrywide in order to continue delivering free, easily accessible, high quality geological data to support foreign direct investment and regional job creation.
Minister O’Dowd today welcomed the new rankings, commenting that the economic value-added contribution of the mining and mineral exploration industry to the Irish economy is considerable and far reaching.