Turkiye’s $300 Billion Gold Reserve Awaits Extraction

Significant Untapped Potential in the Mining Sector Could Transform Economy

Turkiye holds an estimated 5,000 tons of gold worth approximately $300 billion, waiting to be mined, according to Mehmet Yilmaz, President of the Turkish Miners Association (TMD). This revelation comes from a recent model indicating the country’s total gold potential at 6,500 tons, of which 1,500 tons are already identified and under production.

In a meeting with journalists in Ankara, Yilmaz highlighted the economic implications of this untapped reserve. He pointed out that last year, Turkiye spent $31 billion on gold imports while exporting $12 billion, resulting in a trade deficit of $19 billion in this sector.

Yilmaz emphasized the strategic importance of boosting domestic gold production to mitigate inflationary pressures on the economy. “By law, we are required to sell the gold we produce to the Central Bank if it exercises its preemption right. The bank pays in lira, influencing inflation less than if gold were purchased in dollars,” he explained.

The mining sector, however, faces challenges that require regulatory reforms to expedite mining permits and increase production. Yılmaz noted a significant decline in exploration licenses over the past decade, dropping from 40,000 to 5,000.

Green Transition to Boost Mining Demand

Yilmaz also discussed the future of mining in the context of the global green transition, predicting a ninefold increase in demand for minerals. “As we move away from fossil fuels and expand renewable energy infrastructure, the need for minerals like lithium, cobalt, nickel, copper, and even gold will surge,” he said.

The TMD President called for the establishment of independent monitoring mechanisms to ensure sustainable mining practices. He praised countries that have adopted “Sustainable Mining Principles” to reduce workplace accidents and enhance sector standards.

Yilmaz also highlighted Turkiye’s strategic advantage in boron mining, which holds around 70% of the world’s reserves. Transforming boron from raw ore to high-value products could significantly boost Turkiye’s economic standing. “A ton of raw boron is worth $300-$500, but as an intermediate product, it can fetch up to $4,000 per ton. Advanced applications in glass and armor technology could increase its value to $500,000 per ton,” he stated.

Source: Trthaber / Prepared by Irem Yildiz

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