Steps will be taken in autumn to upgrade the Mining Law. The most important pillar of the new law will be the rehabilitation of mining fields, according Seref Kalayci, Deputy Minister of Energy and Natural Resources.
Kalayci underlined at a presentation made to the Parliament’s Global Climate Change Research Commission that the most important amendment in the new law will be the environmental issue. He also said there are both successful and failed precedents regarding the rehabilitation of mining fields after the extraction process is completed. Rehabilitation is obligatory, but penalties don’t have a dissuasive force, Kalayci said. “There are many unrehabilitated mining fields that look like mole tunnels. The new Mining Law will likely to be submitted to the Parliament in autumn 2021,” he said. Kalayci noted that only 0.1% of land in Turkey is used for mining nearly 15,000 mining licenses have been issued so far this year, including 5,060 exploration and 9,914 operation licenses.
An impact from mining on the environment is inevitable, Kalayci admits. “It has an impact on vegetation, waste formation, dust, vibration, noise and visual pollution, and the deterioration of topographic structures,” he said. “There are many issues to be improved and changed. It’s a organic phenomenon. The legislation can be renewed in line with these needs.”
THE 100-TONNE GOLD PRODUCTION TARGET
29% of Turkey is covered with forests and 0.03% of this is used for gold mining, Kalayci noted. The annual gold production target is 100 tonnes, compared to 42 tonnes in 2020. Licensed gold reserves in Turkey are 1,500 tonnes while the potential reserves amount to 6,500 tonnes and the contribution of gold to the national economy totaled USD 2.4bn last year. “Not one gram of gold produced in Turkey is sent abroad, the Central Bank purchases it for the London Gold Exchange price and makes payment in TRY. We can’t issue USD, but we can issue gold,” said Kalayci.
FOREIGNERS PRODUCED 53% OF GOLD
53% of total gold production in Turkey is made by foreigners but the localization rate is rapidly increases, according to Kalayci. “The share of domestic producers will rapidly increase in the upcoming years. We know it from the licenses they receivec from us and the projects they presented” he said. “Foreigners converted 40% of TRY they bought from the Central Bank to foreign exchange. 60% of it is left in our country,” he added.
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