Minister Bayraktar: Our goal is to make Turkiye a net mineral exporter

Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Alparslan Bayraktar said, “Our goal for the coming period is to make Turkiye a net exporter of minerals.”

Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Alparslan Bayraktar, in his speech at the closing meeting of the Occupational Health and Safety Improvement in Mining Project (MISGEP) carried out by the Ministry of Labor and Social Security, said that with the project, they aim to support improved working conditions in the mining sector, increase social awareness and improve the knowledge level of all stakeholders on the subject.

Bayraktar pointed out that they want to reveal Turkiye’s high domestic resource potential within the scope of the National Energy and Mining Policy and stated that they are carrying out studies to extract underground resources and bring them into the country’s economy.

“We have realized the largest mineral export in the history of the Republic”

Reminding that domestic coal production exceeded 105 million tons last year, Bayraktar continued as follows:

“We aim to increase our domestic coal production by processing more of our reserves, which we estimate to be 21 billion tons in total. We continue to weave our mining industry into pieces with our production struggle not only in coal but in all our resources. We exported $6.5 billion in 2022, and with this export we achieved the largest mineral export in the history of the Republic. We increased the share of mining in GDP, which was 6 per thousand in 2002, to 1.4% in 2022. We continue our efforts to increase this share to 5% of GDP.”

Bayraktar stated that Turkiye is seriously dependent on imports in the mining sector and said, “According to 2022 data, our total mineral imports, including coal, excluding gold, have reached approximately $12 billion. Our goal for the coming period is to make Turkiye a net exporter in minerals.”

Stating that they see all employees, especially mine workers, as the main stakeholders of this sector in line with the principles of highly efficient production, Bayraktar emphasized that they attach importance to the personnel working in a safe work environment in accordance with international standards.

“We carried out approximately 7 thousand 179 inspections this year.”

Bayraktar pointed out that they will continue to take the necessary steps sensitively for occupational health and safety of all personnel in the sector and made the following statements:

“As a result of the work we have done in this context in recent years, we have implemented some regulations as a sign of our respect for the labor of our miner brothers. We have arranged the salaries of our miner brothers to be at least twice the minimum wage. We limited the working hours from 45 hours per week to 37.5 hours and obliged businesses to have insurance policies for the personnel they employ. We have bound occupational health and safety measures in mines to very strict rules. We increased our sudden and unannounced inspections. In this context, we carried out approximately 7 thousand 179 inspections this year. We think this number will exceed 8 thousand by the end of the year.”

Stating that they aim to increase the capacity of employees in many areas, from pre-job training to hygiene rules, from technical equipment to theoretical knowledge transfer, Bayraktar said:

“We believe that the value we give to our workers and people will return to our country manifold, and domestic employment will increase domestic production exponentially. The February 6 earthquakes showed us that the mining industry deserves special thanks. I would like to take this opportunity to thank once again, in your presence, our miners who sacrificed their lives and heroically came to the aid of our people after the earthquake disasters. Our country and the whole world followed the success of our miners who worked day and night on the rubble to save another life. As the ministry, we are working to turn this experience of our miners into an institutional structure within the scope of disaster coordination.”

Source: Trthaber / Prepared by Irem Yildiz

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