Türkiye’s mining industry aims to increase the annual gold production by 100 tons, while they target to increase revenues from the export of precious metals to $15 billion.
“The proven gold reserves are 1,500 tons, but more than 4,500 tons sit underground waiting to be explored, and its market value is around $285 billion,” said Ali Emiroğlu, the president of the Turkish Miners’ Association (TMD).
Some $13 billion to $18 billion venture capital is needed for exploration activities for those yet unexploited reserves, Emiroğlu told a group of journalists.
There are eight companies producing gold in Türkiye, according to Emiroğlu.
“Around 50 percent of the gold production is carried out by four Turkish companies. Two companies in the industry are joint ventures between Turkish and foreign companies.”
Türkiye sits in the middle of the Tethyan Metallogenic Belt, which extends from Switzerland to India and is especially rich in gold, silver, copper, zinc, cobalt and nickel, he noted.
“That is why there is gold in many parts of Türkiye.”
Gold production in Türkiye started in 2001, and a total of 452 tons of gold has been produced to date, he said, adding that this year’s gold production is expected to be around 38 tons.
“The sector has two goals. One is to boost exports to $15 billion. And the second is to reach the annual gold production target of 100 tons. Our country has the potential to achieve this.”
The country’s mining exports were $6.5 billion in 2022, but exports are likely to be lower this year, according to Emiroğlu.
He noted that the contribution of imports of energy and minerals to Türkiye’s foreign trade deficit is around $100 billion, with minerals accounting for $60 billion of the foreign trade gap.
Türkiye’s gold imports remained strong in the first eight months of 2023, Trade Minister Ömer Bolat said on Nov. 6, commenting on the latest foreign trade data.
Energy import in the January-October period was $57.3 billion, according to the minister.
Due to the measures taken by the Finance Ministry and the Trade Ministry in August, there has been a significant slowdown in the growth rate of gold imports in the last two months, Bolat said.
Gold imports amounted to some $2 billion in October, marking an annual decrease of 36 percent, he noted.
“In the January-October period, Türkiye spent around $26.5 billion on gold imports. This was 15 billion 150 million dollars in the same period last year. In terms of value, there was a 75 percent increase in gold imports,” Bolat said.
Source: Hürriyet Daily News