According to the Turkish Mining Development Foundation (YMGV), it is possible for Turkey to close the current account deficit with strategic planning in mining. YMGV President Prof. Dr. Guven Onal, who announced the strategic plan prepared by the Foundation to the public, said that the annual imports of minerals, coal and petroleum amounting to USD 100 billion is equivalent to the current account deficit and that this import need can be met through production. The plan envisages an investment of USD 100 billion in a 5+5 year period. In the first 5 years, investments will be made in smelters and integrated plants, as well as in the gasification of coal to produce liquid fuel and hydrogen. The second 5 years will focus on stainless steel, gold, lithium, cobalt, nickel and boron investments. Thus, by the end of 10 years, annual mining revenues will rise to USD 150 billion.
YMGV has prepared a strategic plan to find a solution to the current account deficit by utilizing Turkey’s minerals. Speaking at the meeting titled “How to Close the Current Account Deficit in Turkey’s Foreign Trade?” where the plan was announced, Prof. Dr. Guven Onal, President of the Foundation, stated that Turkey imported approximately USD 98 billion in 2022, mainly gold, aluminum, copper, iron-steel, lead-zinc, coal and crude oil, and that this figure is equivalent to the current account deficit. Onal also stated that the current market value of Turkey’s natural resources is calculated as USD 3.5 trillion and drew attention to the importance of mobilizing these resources. Emphasizing that imported raw and semi-finished materials can be produced in Turkey, Onal said that the foundation had conducted a strategic study for this purpose. Onal noted that the realization of the investments proposed in the strategic plan would save a total of USD 83 billion in imports.
“Turkey is not attractive for mining investment”
İbrahim Halil Kirsan, member of the board of directors of the Foundation for the Development of Mining in Turkey, stated that the need for strategic minerals is increasing in the transition to clean energy to reduce the effects of global warming, and said, “Our country should quickly prepare for its own strategic mineral production.”
Board member Dundar Ergunalp said, “It is not enough to just say, ‘We have minerals underground, let’s invest in them,'” noting that Turkey ranks sixtieth among 84 countries in the Fraser Institute’s “Investment Attractiveness in Mining” ranking.
Prof. Dr. Remzi Karaguzel, a member of the Foundation’s Board of Directors, also shared the information that there was no significant damage to mining operations in the Kahramanmaras-centered earthquakes. Karagüzel reminded that the problems at every stage of the mining sector, from exploration to end product, are stated in the EIA reports and pointed out that the problems stem from the failure to fulfill the commitments.