Turkey: Mining, Minerals and Fuel Resources

Topics Covered

Welcome to Turkey
Overview of Resources
Metals
Industrial Minerals and Gemstones
Investment
Sources

Welcome to Turkey

Turkey is a Eurasian country that is partly located in Southeastern Europe and partly in Southwestern Asia. The total area of the country is 783,562 km2 with a population of 79,749,461 as of July 2012. The country’s climate is mostly temperate.

The national flag of Turkey.
Image Credit: CIA Factbook.

Modern Turkey was founded in 1923 and ever since has enjoyed smooth economic progress and political stability despite many military coups. The country has a free-market economy with its GDP reaching $1.087 trillion in 2011. Turkey’s financial sector and banking system, which are properly organized and regulated, helped the country recover faster during the 2008-2009 global financial downturn.

Turkey’s natural resources include iron ore, copper, coal, chromium, antimony, mercury, gold, celestite (strontium), emery, barite, borate feldspar, pyrites, clay, limestone, magnesite, marble, perlite, and pumice. The country plays an important role as a transit passage for crude oil and natural gas shipments.

Overview of Resources

Turkey’s mining sector was established nearly 9000 years ago, and is very diverse with nearly 60 mineral ores and rocks. In 2010, the country was a leading producer of boron minerals and pumice in the world. It also produced chromite, feldspar, barite, bentonite, kaolin, magnesite, and perlite in the same year.

The map of Turkey. Image Credit: CIA Factbook

Metals

Turkey’s gold resource potential is estimated to be about 23 million ounces. Currently, there are four active gold mines and another four are in the planning stage. These mines are not only a source of revenue for the country but also generate job opportunities for the locals.

Recent reports state that Eldorado Gold Corp’s Usak-Kisladag mine with its 12 million ounce deposit is the largest producer of gold in the country. The $200 million Çöpler gold mine owned by Alacer Gold (Anagold) has gold reserves amounting to more than 6 million ounces.

In 2010, Eti Alüminyum A.S. increased the production capacity of its Seydisehir alumina plant to 400,000 Mt/yr of aluminum hydrate from 200,000 t/yr in the previous year.

Several companies began copper exploration drill programs on possible sites in 2010. More drill programs were also sanctioned for 2011. However, the lack of funding and bad weather conditions resulted in minimal exploration activity on many copper properties.

Eti Bakir A.S. is a leading copper producer in Turkey. In 2010, the company started the development of the Bakibaba ore body located at a depth of 300 to 800 m below the 1-million-Mt/yr-capacity Kastamonu Kure open pit copper mine.

In the same year, Çayeli Bakir Isletmeleri A.S., a subsidiary of Inmet Mining Corp. of Canada, mined about 1.15 million Mt of ore from its Cayeli mine.

Industrial Minerals and Gemstones

In 2010, Eti Maden Isletmeleri Genel Müdürlügü used 4.4 Mt of ore to recover boron concentrates amounting to 2.2 Mt and also to produce 1.4 Mt of boron chemicals and related products. The company increased its boron products capacity to 1,705,000 t from 1,365,000 t in 2011 with the completion of its 240,000-t/yr-capacity borax pentahydrate plant.

Similarly, the Beypazari plant of Eti Soda Inc., a subsidiary of the Ciner Grubu (74% interest) and Eti Maden (26% interest), manufactures soda ash at its maximum 1-Mt/yr production capacity.

Investment

Turkey’s mining sector comprises mining subsidiaries of domestic conglomerates, metal and mineral traders, construction companies, and small family-owned companies. Foreign investments are more in the metal industries, which will aid in increased production of metals in the coming years.

Exploration activities especially for copper, gold, nickel and zinc explorations have been steadily increasing in the country as government regulations and procedures have been adapted to suit the foreign investor.

According to experts, the Turkish mining sector is set to expand further due to the following factors:

  • Strong commodity prices
  • Favorable changes in the government’s investment plan
  • New mining laws that promote mineral exploration activity
  • No import duty for new mining and processing equipment
  • No limits or tax on exported mineral commodities
  • Use of modern exploration techniques to exploit unexplored mineral and precious metal bases

Disclaimer: The Author of this article does not imply any investment recommendation and some content is speculative in nature. The Author is not affiliated in any way with any companies mentioned and all statistical information is publically available.

Sources

http://minerals.usgs.gov/minerals/pubs/country/2010/myb3-2010-tu.pdf

https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/tu.html

G.P. Thomas

Written by

G.P. Thomas

Gary graduated from the University of Manchester with a first-class honours degree in Geochemistry and a Masters in Earth Sciences. After working in the Australian mining industry, Gary decided to hang up his geology boots and turn his hand to writing. When he isn't developing topical and informative content, Gary can usually be found playing his beloved guitar, or watching Aston Villa FC snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

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