Minister Bayraktar announced that 6,600 hectares of mining area have been rehabilitated

Ankara Minister Bayraktar, speaking at the Turkey Mining Council Meeting held at the Turkey Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges (TOBB) social facilities, said that mining should be conducted with a holistic approach alongside the environment, not against it.

At the meeting where the current situation of the mining sector, the difficulties and potential solutions it faces were discussed, Bayraktar noted that the mining sector has become an important focus of attention nationally and internationally.

Bayraktar conveyed that within the framework of the national energy and mining policy, the production of intermediate and end products is targeted to generate high added value from mines.

Stating that the sector has directly employed an average of 136,000 people over the past 15 years, Bayraktar said, “For a country rich in resources like ours, much more can be achieved. In this sense, we can further enhance the contribution to employment.”

Bayraktar pointed out that an average of 758 million tons of minerals have been produced annually in Turkey over the past 10 years, saying, “Our priority is to meet the minerals needed by our industry to the highest possible extent with our own means, local resources, and to extract our own resources and contribute them to the economy.”

“Rare earth elements are of great strategic importance” Bayraktar stated that investments in the mining sector will continue to increase and emphasized that environmentally friendly mining is an internationally responsible approach.

Indicating that production plans are made with a responsible mining approach, Bayraktar said, “There is a project conducted by the General Directorate of Mining and Petroleum Affairs (MAPEG) for the determination of rehabilitated mining areas and mining social responsibility works throughout Turkey. In this regard, we have determined that 6,600 hectares of land have been rehabilitated in the production activities conducted so far, and more than 18 million trees have been replanted in these areas.”

Among the fundamental problems in the mining sector are environmental impact assessments, forest permits, and the fees paid for forest permits, said Bayraktar, adding, “Without abandoning the principle of human first, then the environment, and then value-added mining, we are working to improve these processes.”

Bayraktar also emphasized that rare earth elements in the mining sector are of great strategic importance rather than just economic value, saying, “We need to quickly realize investments in this field that will elevate our country to a very high position in the world league.”

  • “There is a need for a new mining strategy”

TOBB Mining Council Chairman İbrahim Halil Kırşan emphasized that planning sustainable mining activities is inevitable for achieving development in the country, saying, “A new understanding and a new mining strategy that will allow for the creation of investor-friendly environments are needed for the growth of our mining sector.”

Kırşan expressed that one of the most important problems in the mining sector stems from forestry legislation applications, and expressed their greatest expectation for the positive conclusion of mining initiatives by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.

source: prepared by Melisa Beğiç

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