Mining to Turkey
Turkey is one of the world's most promising and dynamic mining
destinations, with more than 40% cent of its prospective mining areas still
The country is the largest gold producer in Europe with 27 tons of gold
production per annum from 15 mines.
Located on the Tethyan Metallogenic Belt, Turkey also hosts a wide range of
deposits, which include mineral ores, coal, silver, marble and natural
The government’s priority is to encourage private investment and develop
mining into one of the country’s leading industries. Currently, more than
20 overseas minerals companies are active in Turkey, including large and
mid-tier companies from Canada, the UK, US and Australia. These companies
are engaged in the full spectrum of mining activities, from exploration to
Turkey’s large and diverse mineral-resource base includes:
In the current climate, Austrade expects new mining projects to emerge.
In addition, new tenders have revived stagnant mining explorations and
operations-license contracts. The mining community has shown
significant interest in the tenders — and the amounts offered to obtain
licences are seen as an indicator of investor interest.
Currently, two government-sponsored programs look likely to trigger
Under the National Mining Policy, Turkey’s
Directorate of Mineral Research and Exploration (MTA) is engaged in
an impressive drilling program. The program achieved one million
metres of drilling in 2017, which increased to 1.5 million meters
Results will be published, and new sources will be opened to
Under the Airborne Geophysical Survey Project,
magnetic and radiometric data is being collected to explore areas
difficult to reach. The project aims to deliver geophysical maps to
Since a new national mining policy was introduced in 2017
mining production has increased. Gold production increased 20%
from 2017 to 2018.
Gold Production of Turkey (Metric Tons)
In pursuit of lower energy imports, the government recently
transferred 203 million tons of coal reserves to private
companies. It has also continued large investments in the
Despite another volatile year for chrome prices, Turkey remains
a vital player in the global ferrochrome supply chain.
Previous Austrade missions have identified significant opportunities in
upgrading existing facilities and consulting. This applies particularly to
the fields of mine safety, mine planning, project management, coal-bed
methane drilling and extraction services.
Opportunities also exist in the acquisition of specialised equipment used
in both underground and open-cut mine operations.
Currently, there are four areas of likely interest to Australian mining
Safety and sustainability -
There is increasing industry emphasis on the importance of
sustainability in work practices, safety and the environment.
Environmental engineering -
There is a growing demand for environmental engineering and consulting
services, which may translate into opportunities to developing existing
Technology investments -
As cost-pressures intensify, there is growing recognition that the
Turkish mining industry needs to invest in new technology — both to
lift productivity and compete internationally.
Consulting services -
Turkish companies that are willing to invest abroad may require
consulting services to learn more about the markets they wish to
In terms of individual mining sectors, opportunities in Turkey include:
The exploration and development of base metals
The development of value-added chromium
Magnesite and boron end-products
Technology upgrades for copper mining
Bauxite and zinc-lead smelters
Washing and briquette production
Clean burning technologies.
Austrade also observes demand for services in the following areas: process
development, process-control, chemical and metallurgical analyses, reserve
estimation and underground mining operation.
In summary, the mining sector offers not only investment opportunities, but
a significant export market for Australian mining, technology, equipment
Many foreign companies have taken advantage of an investor-friendly
business environment in Turkey’s mining sector. Currently, Canadian
companies top the list of foreign investors, and they are highly active in
precious metals projects. Companies from other countries are also active
either as suppliers of products and services, or as direct investors in
exploration and mine operations.
Leading mining/smelting companies active in Turkey include:
Eldorado Gold, Canada (Kışladağ & Efemçukuru Gold Mines)
Alacer Gold, Canada-Australian-Turkey (Çöpler Gold Mine)
- First Quantum, Canada (Çayeli Copper Mine)
Ariana Resources, UK (Kiziltepe Gold & Silver Mines)
- Pasinex, Canada (Pınargözü Zinc Mine)
Centerra Gold, Canada (Oksut Gold Mine-Under Construction)
- Alamos Gold, Canada (Kirazlı, Agi Dagi, Camyurt development projects)
- Stratex International Plc, UK (has exploration & development
- Teck Cominco Ltd, Canada (has exploration & development projects)
Regulations and licenses
Under Turkey’s mining regulations, ‘underground resources’ are subject to
the exclusive ownership of the state, and are not considered a part of the
land where the resources is located. Under mining legislation, the state
delegates its right for exploration and operations to individuals or
companies for specific periods by issuing licences that are subject to
The only entities entitled to mining rights are Turkish citizens and
companies established under Turkish law specifically for mining purposes.
The General Directorate of Mining Affairs (MIGEM) — a division of the
Turkish Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources (see below) — is
authorised to regulate mining activities and issues mining licences. In
related to mining activities fall under the jurisdiction of the
Ministry of Environment and Forestry
Special audit requirements
apply to foreign mining companies that are listed on international
Since 2012, the Turkish Government has taken a greater interest in the
control of mining and energy licences and has tightened requirements for
the issuance of permits and licences.
Greater government regulation, the global mining downturn and the
centralisation of Government decision-making has made licences more
challenging to secure. This means fewer international companies are
choosing to open new mines in Turkey. Turkish companies are expanding
existing projects and are looking regionally for opportunities,
particularly in Africa.
Government ministries and agencies
The Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources aims to adopt
the highest international industry standards. It has commenced a
restructuring process supported by regulatory reforms and is currently
setting up a Mine Safety Board taking Australia as a model for the
General Directorate of Mineral Research and Exploration (MTA)
is the main government entity responsible for mineral exploration. Under a
new policy it conducts many geological studies. The function of MAPEG, a
regulatory body, is to ensure that digital technologies expedite
The Turkey Geoscience Data and Core Data Bank (TUVEK) was
established to archive, publish and put into action geoscience data (drill
cores, chip samples and hand specimens) generated by the public and private
National Resources and Reserves Reporting Committee (UMREK)
designates the minimum standards and best practice principles for public
reporting of mineral exploration results, mineral resources and mineral
reserves. This helps keep investors, financial institutions and the stock
UMREK is a member of the Committee for Mineral Reserves International
Reporting Standards (CRIRSCO).
The market requires long-term commitment and cooperation with local
partners as well as a network of public and private sector contacts. It is
important to make visits and participate in local trade fairs.
To start activities, Australian companies are strongly advised to engage a
local representative or liaison officer. As business develops, overseas
mining companies often open up subsidiaries.
Some of the relevant contacts include:
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