The Northern Territory has been ranked as the top jurisdiction in Australia for mining exploration and development by a global survey of mining companies.
The survey, by the Canadian-based Fraser Institute, received responses from over 800 companies on the exploration attractiveness of 93 jurisdictions worldwide.
In the combined index that measures each jurisdiction's overall policy attractiveness, the survey ranked the Northern Territory as 11th out of the 93 jurisdictions.
The score of 81.5 out of 100 is a significant increase on last year's score of 62.2, and is the highest of all Australian states and Territories.
NT Minister for Resources, Kon Vatskalis, said the result highlights the Territory Government's pro-active approach to mineral and energy development, positive regulatory regime and the efforts that have been made to raise the Territory's profile as a resources exploration destination and to attract international investment to the NT.
"Mining contributes to a quarter of the Territory's economy – which is almost four times the national average," Mr Vatskalis said.
"The survey suggests that the mining and exploration industry's perceptions of the Territory's attractiveness as an exploration investment destination have increased over the past year, both in a global context and also relative to other Australian jurisdictions.
"The survey results also show that the NT has developed one of the best regulatory environments to operate in. Our regulatory framework has been further under-pinned by recent amendments to the Mining Management Act that place greater scrutiny on environmental performance and reporting. Despite these changes - the NT still ranked highly in this field indicating that Government has made the correct decisions in this area.
"The Territory Government is committed to working with industry, stakeholders and international investors to ensure the on-going success of our resource sectors."