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Namibia was ranked the most attractive African nation for mineral exploration investment, followed closely by Botswana, according to the Fraser Institute’s annual report
The survey, which calculates attractiveness by considering mineral potential as well as public policy factors, included African countries Egypt, Mauritania, Morocco, the Central African Republic, Sudan, South Sudan, Lesotho and Uganda for the first time.
However, no African nation made it to the global top 20. Namibia and Botswana polled 25th and 26th respectively, and Sudan, Nigeria, Egypt and Kenya were in the bottom 10.
The results will be particularly disappointing news for Kenya, which fell from a ranking of 79th in 2013 to third-from-bottom in the survey of 124 jurisdictions carried out between August and November 2014.
The Institute received responses from 485 exploration, development and other mining-related firms around the world, who reported total exploration spending of US$2.7bn in 2014 and US$3.2bn in 2013 (down from US$3.4bn and US$4.6bn in 2013 and 2012, under the previous survey).
Policy factors considered included infrastructure quality, political stability, taxation, trade barriers, labour laws and other regulatory uncertainties.