Mehmet Yilmaz, President of the Gold Miners Association, noted that if the public permission is obtained for about 20 projects, they can reach the goal of producing 100 tons in 5 years.
Mehmet Yilmaz, President of the Gold Miners Association, stated that they aim to increase production and employment in Turkey during the days of the new type of coronavirus (Covid-19) epidemic, when the world is going through difficult times. He added saying, “In this context, we aim to increase our production of 42 tons in 2020 to at least 45 tons in 2021. There is a possibility that we will exceed this target. We anticipate that we will be able to produce at least 45 tons of gold.”
Despite the Covid-19 epidemic, gold production in Turkey reached 42 tons by breaking the record in the history of Turkey at the end of 2020, thus contributing $2.4 billion to the economy. With the targeted new figure, it is predicted that Turkey can set another record in 2021.
After Yilmaz was elected as the Chairman of the Gold Miners Association, he told the 2021 targets of the sector to the AA correspondent.
Emphasizing that they will achieve their targets by complying with the legislation and support of the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources as in the previous periods, Yilmaz stated that the sector has recently set a goal of producing 100 tons of gold in 5 years and that the sector will make every effort to reach this target.
Yilmaz stated that they aim to encourage Turkey’s mineral exploration and increase the number of mine sites operated especially after investments made in exploration activities. He added saying “In 2020, Turkey imported approximately $25.2 billion of gold. If we can produce gold in our land, the equivalent of this imported amount will remain in our economy. This money will not go outside. We will create more employment. Currently, 13 thousand people are employed in this sector. Maybe we will have a chance to increase this number to 20 thousand.”
Stating that they are aiming to create added value and employment by increasing production as much as possible and to increase the production figure of 2020 to higher levels, Yilmaz continued as follows:
“We aim to increase our production of 42 tons in 2020 to at least 45 tons in 2021. It is also possible that we will exceed this target. We anticipate that we will be able to produce at least 45 tons of gold. In this context, we think that we can reach our goal of producing 100 tons in the next 5 years if we get permission from the public for about 20 projects waiting in line.”
People and the environment first, then mining
Yilmaz pointed out that there are many examples in which the field was rehabilitated and returned to the society and nature after the mining activities in Turkey ended, and said that raising the standards in gold mining in line with the goals of prioritizing the people and the environment will take this sector forward.
In this sense, Yilmaz stated that they are in one-to-one communication with all ministries that make regulations for the sector such as the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources, the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization, the Ministry of Family, Labor and Social Services. And he expressed that they act in harmony with the said institutions and act with the aim of contributing to the sector and the economy of Turkey.
Yilmaz pointed out that countries such as Turkey have an obligation to bring their underground resources to their economies and said:
“This situation is not only valid for gold. It is valid for all of the coal, lead, copper, marble. We only have one condition. We say, people first, then the environment, then mining. Because our country cannot have the luxury of being forced to choose whether it is mining, environment, forest, or industry. We will mine our mine by protecting both our environment and our forest. Then, we will rehabilitate all the areas where we did mining and return them to nature. This should be our priority. The most important thing here is that we should be in an analytical environmentalist approach, not taking sides. We will both protect the environment and bring resources into our economy.”
Source: AA / Translated by Irem Yildiz