Mining to Turkey

Trends and opportunities

The market

Turkey is one of the world's most promising and dynamic mining destinations, with an increasing number of local and foreign companies active in the market.

The government’s priority is to encourage private investment and develop mining into one of the country’s leading industries. (Source: Invest in Turkey Mining Industry Report, Feb 2014)

Turkey is 10th in the world in terms of mineral variety and 28th for its production of underground resources. Sixty types of minerals are said to have been produced in Turkey. It has 2.5 per cent of the world’s industrial raw material, 1 per cent of the coal and 0.8 per cent of the geothermal resources and 0.4 per cent of the metallic mineral reserves. It also has a significant potential for natural stone. Turkey is the world’s largest exporter of marble and travertine and is the third largest exporter of natural stone. (Source: Turkish Minerals Mining in Turkey, 2014)

Turkey’s large and diverse mineral resource base includes:

  • copper
  • gold
  • iron and lead
  • mercury
  • silver and tin
  • ·other precious metals
  • and coal.

Recognising the potential of the mining industry, the government has made major improvements to encourage its development. Mining is primarily governed by the 1985 Mining Law. This law has been amended several times in recent years, but most significantly in June 2010. The latest amendment provides a more investment friendly environment, particularly for exploration projects. Aspects such as environmental protection and health and safety are brought more in line with international expectations. (Source: Mondaq Mining Sector and Mining Law, 2013)

The new Mining Law has improved the investment environment and greatly increased the number of mining exploration licences. The mining sector offers not only investment opportunities, but an export market for Australian equipment and services.


Major opportunities exist in upgrading existing facilities. There is a growing demand for environment engineering and consulting services for the mining sector.

Opportunities include:

  • exploration and development of base metals
  • coal production
  • development of value-added chromium
  • magnesite and boron end-products
  • technology upgrade of copper
  • bauxite and zinc-lead smelters
  • washing and briquette production
  • clean burning technologies.

Demand for services in process development, process-control, chemical and metallurgical analyses, reserve estimation and underground mining operation.

Competitive environment

A major issue for gold mining, is the environmental concern of cyanide leaching. Rallies have been organised in protest to this. Some companies, which insist they have operated in accordance with all laws and regulations, have been sued for not complying with environmental standards and submitting impartial environment impact studies.

Environmental activists have obtained court injunctions for mine operations. While these obstacles may be relatively easy to overcome, in some cases they become serious challenges to the companies involved.

(Source: Ejolt Opposition to Gold Mining in Bergama, 2013)

The Turkish mining industry is dominated by foreign investors and suppliers of equipment and services. Many foreign companies have taken advantage of the investor friendly business environment. There are around 23 Canadian, US, UK and Australian companies in the mining sector, particularly in precious metals mining. Companies from other countries are active either as suppliers of products and services or direct investors in exploration and mine operation.

Leading mining companies in the market include:

  • Eldorado Gold, Canada
  • Teck Cominco Ltd, Canada
  • Fronteer Development Group Inc, Canada
  • Ariana  Resources, UK
  • Stratex International Plc, UK
  • Mediterranean Resources, Australian
  • Nuinsco Resources Ltd., Canada
  • Silvermet Inc., Canada

Tariffs, regulations and customs

Under the mining regulations, ‘underground resources’ are subject to the exclusive ownership and disposition of the state. They are not considered a part of the land where it is located. Under the mining legislation, the state delegates its right for exploration and operation to individuals or companies for specific periods by issuing licences subject to royalty payments.

With the amended Mining Law, a liberalised business environment has been created. The law entitles investors to various incentives and facilities, such as a simplified permit process, the operation of mines and repatriation of earnings.

Only citizens and the companies established under Turkish laws (including foreign capital companies) specifically for mining purposes are entitled to mining rights. The General Directorate of Mining Affairs (MIGEM), a division of the Turkish Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources, is the authorised body which regulates mining activities and issues mining licences. Environmental regulations related to mining activities fall under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry.

Foreign mining companies operating in Turkey, listed on international Stock Exchanges, also require specialised auditing services to fulfil local accounting and compliance requirements.

Marketing your products and services

Market entry

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.

Australian companies are advised to have a local representative or liaison office to start and as business develops, open up subsidiaries.

Links and industry contacts

Turkish Republic Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources
General Directorate of Mining Affairs – MIGEM
Mineral Research and Exploration General Directorate- MTA
General Directoarte of Turkish Coal Enterprises
General Directorate of Turkish Hard Coal Enterprises
General Directorate of Electricity Generation Corporation
Turkish Miners Association
Turkish Gold Miners Association
Invest in Turkey

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