Despite having a range of minerals, some significant reserves and government support for investment in mining activities, Turkey’s mining potential is largely untapped. 77 out of the 90 minerals that are traded worldwide can be extracted in Turkey. Turkey has rich or very rich deposits for 50 of those minerals.

Turkey’s strong tectonic and magmatic history has resulted in these rich underground reserves. The most important minerals explored and extracted in Turkey are: boron salt, perlite, marble, pumice, feldspar, bentonite, barite, magnesite, sodium sulphate, rock salt, trona, gypsum, strontium salts, sepiolite, zeolite, olivine, asbestos, dolomite, emery, and lignite. Other minerals extracted and explored in Turkey include chromium, copper, zinc, lead, silver and gold.

Turkey has:

-72% of global boron reserves.

-33% of global marble reserves.

-2.5% of global industrial raw materials.


Mining Engineer



Mining may well have been the second of humankind’s earliest endeavors-granted that agriculture was the first. The two industries ranked together as the primary or basic industries of early civilizations were and still are the main sources of raw materials. Throughout history, mining has continued to make great contributions to the social and economical welfare of several societies which explains the identification of several cultural eras by various minerals or by their derivatives: the Stone Age (prior to 4000 BC), the Bronze Age (4000 to 5000 BC), the Iron Age (1500 BC to 1780 CE), the Steel Age (1780 to 1945) and the Nuclear Age (1945 to the present). Therefore, human culture is bound to the availability of minerals and metals, and our prehistoric ancestors depended on mining just as we do today.

Turkey, an important segment of the Alpine-Himalayan tectonic belt, has potential for the discovery of a wide range of economic mineral deposits including energy raw materials, geothermal energy resource and also gold-base metal, rare earth element (REE), trona-gypsum, kaolin-feldspar and strontium salts–sodium sulphate deposits.

The minerals sector is one of the leading sectors supplying raw materials to domestic

industry. Turkey possesses the largest resources of most minerals in the world and is one of the world’s richest countries in minerals. Excluding petroleum and coal there are 53 exploitable minerals and metals and 4,500 mineral deposits in Turkey.

Turkey’s geology is extremely complex and this complexity is reflected in the diversity of its mineral deposits. Best known for its industrial minerals, Turkey is a major producer of boron minerals, feldspar, marble, baryte, celestite (strontium), emery, limestone, magnesite, perlite and pumice. A wide variety of primary metallic minerals are produced as well. Copper and chromite are the most significant minerals in the metals sector. Turkey is a major world producer of processed mineral commodities, including refined borates and related chemicals, cement, ceramics and glass. In addition, Turkey is a significant producer of ferrochromium and steel.

Turkey’s land surface is about 814.000 sq.km. half of which is made of Neogen sediments and Neogen formations covered by sedimentary depositions, basalts and Tertiary volcanics. Turkey’s old massifs consist of the crystalline and metamorphic rock groups formed after the strong metamorphism in the Archean and probably Caledonian geosynclines. These old blocks are covered by more or less crystallizet marbles of Hercynian orogenic phase and acid magmatic instrusions of the same period. The metamorphic shales and paragneisses which form the substructure of Anatolia are of Pre-Cambrian age.

The complex geologic structure of Turkey makes it more difficult for mine exploration and mining facilities. Despite this, Turkey is one of the few countries which can provide most of their raw materials. It is the world’s leading producer of boron mineral, pumice, feldspar and also barite, bentonite, chrome ore, kaolin, lignite and magnesite. Nearly 60 types of minerals have been produced in Turkey and it is in the 10th place throughout the world according to mineral variety and 28th for its production of underground resources of 132 countries. Only 13 of all the 90 minerals traded all over the world do not exist in Turkey. These minerals do not have enough quality and quantity to be exploited. 50 types of minerals are found adequately but 27 types of minerals lack the desired quality and reserves for exploration. Moreover, Turkey has 2,5 % of the industrial raw material, 1 % of the coal and 0,8 % of the geothermal and 0,4 % of the metallic mineral reserves of the world. It also has a significant potential for natural stone and holds the 30 % of known natural stone reserves of the world. Marble, granite and travertine are all currently being exploited in Turkey (3.8 billion m3 marble, 2.7 billion m3 travertine and 995 million m3 granite).

Although the complex geologic and tectonic structure of Turkey contributes to mineral diversity of the country, most of mineral deposits in Turkey are moderate in size. However, with the increase in raw material prices due to the economic condition in the world, low graded mineral deposits with technological problems and also buried / conceptual deposits have gained value. Accordingly, Turkey, which already has an important place in the world mining industry, has become even more important since it hosts a great potential for such mineral deposits.

Today 53 different minerals are produced in the Turkish mining sector. Most of the production is carried out by the private sector. The main producers are Eti Maden,nTurkish Hard Coal Enterprises (TTK), Turkish Coal Enterprises (TKI) and private sector companies. The public sector is dominant in fuel minerals and metallic ore production while the private sector is concentrated in industrial mineral production.

Mineral products produced approximately 150 million tons a year in Turkey are commonly used in building industry and as a raw material in other industries providing 5-6 billion USD per year. Minerals such as boron, chrome, celestite, magnesite, barite, marble, pumice, feldspar are considerably exported whereas coal, which is produced approximately 60 million tons a year and is consumed mostly by thermal power plants in Turkey.

An accurate indicator of the contribution of the mining sector to economy that has great importance in terms of industrialization and national development is the role of this sector in the gross national product (GNP). It depends on mineral potentials and financial capacities of the countries. In developed countries, the parts of the mining sector as GNP are 4,2 % in the USA, 4,0 % in Germany, 7,5 % in Canada and 8,7 % in Australia. However, GNP ratios of mining sector in total GNP in Turkey varied from 1 % to 1,5 % between in 2018, mine production of Turkey reached 11-12 billion USD and total mining production is about 150 million tons per year. Moreover, mining sector in Turkey constitutes nearly 1,2-1,4 % of GNP.

The import and export values have increased compared to previous years. In 2018, the revenue from mineral export was nearly 4.25 billon USD and natural stones constituted the major portion of this amount (near 1,5 billion USD). The other exported products were metallic (near 1,17 billion USD) and industrial raw materials (near 530 million USD). On the other hand, mineral import value was nearly 4,5 billion USD and 3.420 billion USD of the total amount was from energy raw materials (coal).

In 2019, the total mineral export values have increased nearly 2.447 billon USD. As in previous years, natural stones, especially marble, constitute the major portion of this amount. While the export value from natural stones was nearly 1,690,859,379 billon USD, the export value from industrial raw materials and metallic minerals were 0.531 and 1.254 billon USD, respectively. On the other hand, mining sector constitutes only 1,3 % of total GNP in 2019

While the world’s traditional mining markets struggle through the trough of a mining cycle, Turkey has emerged as a rare story of growth, offering a compelling jurisdiction to international mining investors in pursuit of friendlier skies. To date, the country has not shown huge ore deposits of blockbuster potential; rather its key attractions are economic discoveries ranging across 72 mineral types, situated in an open playing field with attractive incentives and a growing supplier base to assist in low cost project execution.

Aiming to become a top 10 global economy by the 100th anniversary of the Turkish republic in 2023, Turkey has set its sights on reaching $500 billion in exports, $15 billion of which is earmarked to come from the mineral sector. With this ambitious goal in mind, the country is looking beyond the state-owned entities and domestic conglomerates that have largely fueled the industry thus far. Foreign investment will play a decisive role in meeting this goal, or falling short of the mark.


The geology of Turkey is the product of a wide variety of tectonic processes that have shaped Anatolia over millions of years, a process which continues today as evidenced by frequent earthquakes and occasional volcanic eruptions..

Turkey, an important segment of the Alpine-Himalayan tectonic belt, hosts notably diverse mineral deposits. The complex geologic and tectonic structure of Turkey makes it more difficult for mine exploration and mining facilities, although it contributes to mineral diversity of the region. Turkey is one of the few countries which can provide most of their raw materials in spite of the geological and technological drawbacks.

Turkey’s terrain is structurally complex. A central massif composed of uplifted blocks and downfolded troughs, covered by recent deposits and giving the appearance of a plateau with rough terrain, is wedged between two folded mountain ranges that converge in the east. True lowland is confined to the plain of the Ergene river in Thrace, extending along rivers that discharge into the Aegean Sea or the Sea of Marmara, and to a few narrow coastal strips along the Black Sea and Mediterranean Sea coasts.

Nearly 85% of the land is at an elevation of at least 450 meters; the median altitude of the country is 1,128 meters. In Asiatic Turkey, flat or gently sloping land is rare and largely confined to the deltas of the Kızıl River, the coastal plains of Antalya and Adana, and the valley floors of the Gediz River and the Büyük Menderes River, and some interior high plains in Anatolia, mainly around Tuz Gölü (Salt Lake) and Konya Ovası (Konya Basin). Moderately sloping terrain is limited almost entirely outside Thrace to the hills of the Arabian Platform along the border with Syria.

Figure 1 – Geological Map of Turkey

The earliest geological history of Turkey is poorly understood, partly because these oldest rocks in the region are involved into younger deformation phases that hindered their evolution. This created problem of reconstructing how the region has been tectonically assembled by plate motions. Turkey can be thought of as a collage of different continental pieces and remnants of oceanic lithospheric rocks amalgamated together by younger tectonic processes that involve accumulation of igneous (both plutonic and volcanic) and sedimentary rocks.

Plate tectonics in Turkey: there are geologic faults around the Anatolian Plate, the African Plate, the Arabian Plate and the Eurasian Plate.

Except for a relatively small portion of its territory along the Syrian border that is a continuation of the Arabian Plate, Turkey geologically is part of the great Alpine belt that extends from the Atlantic Ocean to the Himalaya Mountains. This belt was formed during the Cenozoic Era (about 66 to 1.6 million years ago), as the Arabian, African, and Indian continental plates began to collide with the Eurasian Plate. This process is still at work today as the African Plate converges with the Eurasian Plate and the Anatolian Plate escapes towards the west and southwest along strike-slip faults. These are the North Anatolian Fault Zone, which forms the present day plate boundary of Eurasia near the Black Sea coast and, the East Anatolian Fault Zone, which forms part of the boundary of the North Arabian Plate in the southeast. As a result of this plate tectonics configuration, Turkey is one of the world’s more active earthquake and volcanic regions.

The Anatolian Plate, together with the Aegean-Peloponnesus block, is located near the centre of a very wide region, including the Arabian Plate with the adjacent Zagros Mountains and central Iran, that moves in a circulatory pattern at a relatively fast rate of 20 mm/yr. The rate of this counter-clockwise motion increases near the Hellenic Trench system south of Turkey and decreases away from it (i.e. the Eurasian and African plates move at a rate of 5 mm/yr), resulting in internal deformations in several areas, including central and eastern Anatolia, south-western Aegean-Peloponnesus, Lesser Caucasus, and central Iran. The dominant process in the region is the subduction of the African Plate beneath the Hellenic Trench, and the deformation in the entire African-Arabian-Eurasian collision zone is most likely driven by the slab roll-back of the subducting African Plate in the East Mediterranean. This process is further fuelled by slab-pull forces in the Makran Trench in the Gulf of Oman where the Arabian Plate is subducting under Eurasia. A response to this tectonic maelstrom is the rifting in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden which will separate Arabia from Africa.

The tomography of the velocity propagation distributions of the P_n seismic waves both in an isotropic and anisotropic conditions, compared with the lateral variations of that velocity has highlighted the physical properties of the uppermost mantle and crustal thickness of the Earth. A study analyzed 700 earthquakes occurred in Turkey from 1999 to 2010 with magnitude degree major than 4.0 and the related 50.000 Pn first arrivals recorded by 832 seismic stations at a distance range of 180-1500 kms from the epicenter. The tomography highlighted that “Pn velocities are found to be lowest in eastern Turkey (<7.6 km s-1) and highest in the eastern Mediterrannean Sea and Zagros Suture (>8.3 km s-1). Large Pn anisotropy is observed in the Aegean, central Anatolia and along the southern coast of Anatolia. Large crustal thicknesses are observed along the Dinarides-Hellenides and along the southern coast of Anatolia.”

Many of the rocks exposed in Turkey were formed long before this process began. Turkey contains outcrops of Precambrian rocks, (more than 540 million years old). During the Mesozoic era (about 250 to 66 million years ago) a large ocean (Tethys Ocean), floored by oceanic lithosphere existed in-between the supercontinents of Gondwana and Laurasia (which lay to the south and north respectively). This large oceanic plate was consumed at subduction zones. At the subduction trenches the sedimentary rock layers that were deposited within the prehistoric Tethys Ocean were folded, faulted and tectonically mixed with huge blocks of crystalline basement rocks of the oceanic lithosphere. These blocks form a very complex mixture or melange of rocks that include mainly serpentinite, basalt, dolerite and chert. The Eurasian margin, now preserved in the Pontides (the Pontic Mountains along the Black Sea coast), is thought to have been geologically similar to the Western Pacific region today. Volcanic arcs and back-arc basins formed and were emplaced onto Eurasia as ophiolites as they collided with microcontinents (literally relatively small plates of continental lithosphere). These microcontinents had been pulled away from the Gondwanan continent further south. Turkey is therefore made up from several different prehistorical microcontinents.]

During the Cenozoic (Tertiary about 66 to 1.6 million years) folding, faulting and uplifting, accompanied by volcanic activity and intrusion of igneous rocks was related to major continental collision between the larger Arabian and Eurasian plates.

Turkey’s most severe earthquake in the twentieth century occurred in Erzincan on the night of 1939-12-27; it devastated most of the city and caused an estimated 30,000 deaths. Earthquakes of moderate intensity often continue with sporadic aftershocks over periods of several days or even weeks. Seismicity in Turkey is more likely to happen in the North Anatolian Fault Zone, East Anatolian Fault Zone and in the subduction region of the Aegeaa Plate between the Anatolian plate.


Mining may well have been the second of humankind’s earliest endeavors-granted that agriculture was the first. The two industries ranked together as the primary or basic industries of early civilizations were and still are the main sources of raw materials. Throughout history, mining has continued to make great contributions to the social and economical welfare of several societies which explains the identification of several cultural eras by various minerals or by their derivatives: the Stone Age (prior to 4.000 BCE), the Bronze Age (4.000 to 5.000 BCE), the Iron Age (1500 BCE to 1780 CE), the Steel Age (1780 to 1945) and the Nuclear Age (1945 to the present). Therefore, human culture is bound to the availability of minerals and metals, and our prehistoric ancestors depended on mining just as we do today.

Nowadays, several sectors (as construction, manufacturing, transport and industrial activities) totally depend on acknowledged raw materials and are easily influenced by their deficiency or any increment in their prices. Beside these common resources, the last few decades have been marked by a primary attention towards relatively scarce and uncommon mineral resources as Rare earth elements (REEs) and conflict minerals. These materials play a decisive role in keeping up with the non-stop technological revolution and allow achieving the complex functions of the new technological inventions. In fact, Germanium (Ge) used in fiber optic systems, Indium employed in LCD displays, Rare earth elements (REEs) which are essential for batteries, fertilizers, medical tracers, the automobile industry, water treatment and electronics together with conflict minerals as Tin, Tantalum, Tungsten and Gold utilized for GPS systems in vehicles, airplane instruments and medical equipments are gaining an increasing significance on a day-by-day basis.

A summary of Turkey’s known mineral deposits indicating their main regions of mineralization is given, where fifty seven minerals are listed. Over twelve metallic and forty industrial minerals were mined in Turkey in 2017. Among metallic ores chromite deposits may be considered important worldwide because of their higher chrome iron ratio and borate deposits are probably the largest known deposits in the world. Comperatively moderate value industrial mineral deposits such as marble, magnesite, dolomite, rock salt, cement raw materials, glass and ceramics minerals, refractory clays, zeolites deposits are very large in size. Other moderataly large deposits are copper, lead-zinc in metals, alumina minerals, bentonites, perlite, pumice, celestite, sodium sulphate and trona in industrial minerals. Hardcoal, crude oil and natural gas resources are limited, lignites, even though present proven deposits are limited have a large potential.

It is generally accepted that private sector rarely invest money for mineral exploration except when it is essential for the safeguard of the production of the ensueing year. Production and exploration activities are generally carried out together. As a result the proven ore reserves of even minerals well established in export markets, except borate deposits well explored by the public sector, are very limited. Mineral deposits such as heavy metals which require high fixed investment for production are generally well explored to safeguard the investment risk.

A very large share of Turkey’s investment in minerals exploration has been undertaken by the state through Mineral Research and Exploration Institute (MTA) and Etibank after their establishment under Law in 1935. Oil and natural gas exploration since mid fifties has been undertaken largely by foreign companies and Turkish Petroleum Corporation. The discovery of very large oil and natural gas deposits in Turkey is generally considered not to be probable. A very large share of MTA’s fixed expenditure for mining is confined to geological studies and surface prospecting, expenditure for detailed mineral deposits development being limited.

Turkey’s mineral deposits are concentrated in Mesozoic and Tertiary. Hardcoal basin in Zonguldak and Kastamonu provinces, wolframite deposit in Bursa, iron bearing phosphate deposits in Bitlis Massif in Eastern Turkey are in Palaezoic. Lignite deposits are found in all geological eras from Devoinien through lower Quarternary, being more concentrated in Tertiary. Borates, salt and trona are other important minerals found in Tertiary.


Turkey is rich in industrial minerals which is reflected in the mondial production data. In 2016, Turkey was a major producer of Boron, Perlite, feldspar, magnesite, bentonite, gypsum and anyhdrite. In the same year, Turkey earned the title of the first world producer of boron (1.831.000 tons), perlite (1.066.251 tons) and feldspar (9.475.819 tons) by ensuring respectively 42,48 %, 38,82 % and 31,73 % of the mondial production of these minerals. Within the objective of empowering its position in the global market, Turkey plans to cover 59 % of the boron market by producing 2,35 million tons of boron by the end of 2018.

In addition, in 2016 Turkey was the second world producer of magnesite after China by producing 3.258.445 tons i.e. 12,53 % of the mondial production. Furthermore, Turkey was the third World producer of bentonite (1.744.912 tons) which represented 10,87 % of the mondial production. The statistics also highlighted that producing 10.124.221 tons of gypsum and anhydrite (5,8 % of the mondial production) granted Turkey the 5th place in the production of these minerals after respectively, China, USA, Iran and Thailand. Turkey was also the 7th world producer of Baryte (3,52 % of the mondial production) and 8th world producer of Diatomite and kaolin which represented respectively 3,18 % and 3,29 % of the mondial production.

In 2016, Turkey was also ranked 9th in the production of talk (2,71 %), 12th in the production of salt (1,93 %), 11th in the production of vermiculite (0,24 %), 15th in the production of Fluorspar (0,17 %), 19th in the production of zirconium (0,04 %), 21st in the production of phosphate (0,28 %) and finally 41st in the production of sulfure (0,11 %). However, no production of graphite was reported neither in 2015 nor in 2016.


Boron minerals are natural compounds that contain different proportions of boron oxide (B2O3) in their structure. The boron minerals commonly found in Turkey; tinkal, colemanite and ulexite. Boron products are used in chemistry, materials, agriculture, construction, nuclear energy, defense industry, cleaning, healthcare. Concentrated boron products can also be consumed in these sectors, although regular boron products are used. Approximately 80 % of boron products consumed worldwide are concentrated in the glass, ceramic, agriculture and detergent-cleaning sectors. Turkey is the leader country that performs the production of the refined boron products.

Turkey possesses two third of the world’s borate reserves and has 67 % of world boron reserve with 883 million ton on the basis of B203. (This ratio is about 72 % if approximate 102 million tons B203 reserve of Satimola boron deposits located in Kazakhstan is not taken into account). Recent boron exploration project showed that the boron reserves in the Bigadiç, Emet, Kırka, Kestelek boron basin are about 3 billion tons much more than the earlier estimates. With this increase Turkey now possesses 72 % of the world boron reserves.

Table 1 – Boron Reserves in Turkey

Bigadiç, Balıkesir623.458.710
Emet, Kütahya1.682.561.602
Kestelek, Bursa6.994.525
Kırka, Eskişehir750.620.373
Total Reserve3.063.635.210

Source: Eti Maden İşletmeleri Genel Müdürlüğü

Boron is the most abundant mineral and Turkey has 72 % of all the world reserves. Nearly 3 million tons of boron is produced in Bursa-Kestelek, Balıkesir-Bigadiç, Kütahya-Emet and Eskişehir-Kırka regions. In 2018, boron products of 400 million USD were exported. 117 million USD of it came from ores and concentrations. About 72 % of borate production is exported and remained is consumed domestically. Boron production is exported as mainly concentrate. However a lesser amount is converted refined boron products. In total, 57.669.60 meter drill programs in 180 different location were completed as part of boron exploration project which has been carried out by MTA and Eti Mine since 2018. Totally, 8.846.65 m boron-rich zone was detected in 99 locations via the drilling programs carried out between 2009 and 2018.

Turkey is the leader exporter of the mineral in the world. The mining, production and marketing rights of the boron mineral was given to the Eti Maden İşletmeleri. Eti Maden produce colemanite, ulexite and tincal concentrates as well as refinery products as; Etibor48, borax decahydrate, boric acid and anhydrous borax and supply these to the World markets.

Important boron deposits are located in Turkey, the US, Russia and South America. The known boron mineral deposits of Turkey are in located in Eskişehir-Kırka, Kütahya-Emet, Bursa-Kestelek and Balıkesir-Bigadiç. In order to clearly demonstrate our boron potential, reserve development studies are continuing within the scope of Bigadiç Master Project (BİGMAP). The consumption of boron products in the world is about 3.7 million tons and nearly 56 % of world boron demand has been met by Turkey in 2019. Turkey refined boron production capacity is 2.7 million tons and by the end of 2019, 2.04 million tons was produced.

Turkey is among the countries with the world’s boron reserves with 3.3 billion tons of boron reserves. When the boron reserves of other countries are analyzed, Russia and the USA have 40 million tons of boron reserves and Chile has 35 million tons of boron reserves. The studies carried out are that products with boron content will appear more in the coming periods. In this context, R&D and laboratory studies continue in order to obtain high-tech materials from boron products in Turkey; Studies to establish a Boron Research Center (BAM) are ongoing.

Turkey is one of the important boron exporting countries. Boron products sales amounted to approximately 2.06 million tons in quantity and $ 820 million in value basis in 2019. When only boric acid average prices are analyzed, a continuous increase is observed in the five-year period. With the increase in demand for boron products, this figure is estimated to be 762 $/ton in 2023 price projection. Among the countries in which we export boron are China, USA, Russia and India. Turkey, in order to strengthen its position in the global market in 2020 58 % market share is like target price.

Boron Carbide product, which is used in different fields such as armor materials, nuclear applications, wear-resistant machinery and ceramic parts production in military purposes, is used in Bandırma by using boron products such as boric acid and boron oxide, which Turkey has been successfully producing for many years. Balıkesir) The foundation of the Boron Carbide Production facility was laid in Bandırma Boron Operation Directorate on 2019 and the activities for its construction continue.


Ankara-Beypazarı is the most important trona deposit of Turkey. It is the second largest natural trona deposit of the world with its 233 million tons of reserves. Besides this, in Ankara-Kazan, there is another trona deposit with 603 million tons of reserve owned by a foreign company. The total reserves of Beypazarı and Kazan deposits are nearly 836 million tons.

The project, which will process the trona mine and turn it into natural soda ash and run by a private company, was completed on 2009 and opened for operation in the district of Beypazarı in Ankara. In these facilities, an investment of approximately 375 million dollars was realized and approximately 2 million tons of trona are processed annually; 1 million tons of natural soda ash, 100 thousand tons of sodium bicarbonate and 30 thousand tons of caustic soda are obtained. Turkey meet the needs of its own production of trona and a major part of the production is exported.


The cement industry uses almost 65 million tons of raw materials per year. Turkey has an abundance of chalk, clay, marl, gypsum and trass as the main raw material of cement. Pumice used as light building material and concrete aggregate has a potential of 1.5 billion m3 reserves, and export is approximately 15 million USD. Perlite potential is 5.68 billion tons. Nevertheless, production and import levels remain low.

Turkey in 2019 about 57 million tons of cement production was down 21,.5 % compared to the previous year. Regionally, the highest decrease was in Central Anatolia with 28,3 % and the lowest decrease was in the Mediterranean Region with 15 %. The decrease in clinker production was 17,8 %. The main reason for the decrease in clinker production compared to cement was the increase in clinker exports. Therefore, both cement and clinker data should be evaluated together.

In 2019, 45.4 million tons of cement were sold in the domestic market. There was a 29,4 % decrease compared to the previous year. This decrease is greater than the decrease in cement production. Therefore, it can be easily said that the domestic market is more negative and the foreign market is more positive for 2019. Domestic sales decreased the most in the Marmara Region with 37 % and at least in the South East Anatolia Region with 17 %. In 2019, cement production capacity reached 143.7 million tons with an increase of approximately 3 million tons compared to the previous year. Clinker production capacity reached 91.6 million tons with an increase of approximately 2 million tons. In 2019, cement capacity utilization was 41,6 % and clinker capacity utilization was 67,2 %. In the previous year, these data were 53,4 % ​​and 82,9 %, respectively. While the capacity was increasing, there was a serious decrease in the usage rate. Marmara Region stands out in terms of capacity utilization rate.


Turkey, which has a rich potential in terms of natural stone and geological structure, has 4 billion m3 of operable marble, 2.8 billion m3 of operable travertine and 1 billion m3 of granite reserves. According to these values, Turkey has almost 40 % of world natural stone reserves.

Turkey main natural stone types consist of crystalline limestone (marble), limestone, travertine formed limestone (onyx), conglomerate, breccia and magmatic origin rocks (granite, syenite, diabase, diorite, serpentine, etc.) in various colors and patterns. Natural stones are used in Turkey and in the world for decorative purposes and building materials.

In terms of natural stones, and especially marble, Turkey has sample resources since it is located in the Alpine mountain range. Turkey has been one of the oldest marble producers in the world dating back to 4.000 years production on the Marmara Island. Turkey has immense reserves of marble, travertine, onyx, conglomerate, breccias and magmatic rock. Turkey’s total marble reserves are estimated to be ranging from 5.2 billions m3 which equals to approximately 13.9 billions of tons. Turkey has an exploitable deposits of 3.8 billions m3 marble; the same figureis 2.7 billions m3 for travertine and 995 millions m3 for granite.

Marble production is made in almost all countries in the world, and the countries that show development in this field come to the fore with the variety and visuality of the stone. For this reason, China, Italy and Turkey stand out in the world marble markets.

Turkey has large marble reserves which include a wide range of colors. Among the more than 100 varieties of Turkish marble, marbles having shades ranging from very light gray to black and brilliant white are available in Turkey.

Figure 3 –Distribution of Natural Stone Production by Country

Turkey, marble reserves have been determined in over 80 different structures and over 120 different colors and patterns. Afyon, Balıkesir, Denizli, Tokat, Bilecik, Muğla, Eskişehir and Çanakkale are the cities where reserves and marble enterprises are concentrated. With the investments made in recent years, it has joined among these provinces in Diyarbakır. Turkey’s Supra among the most well-known varieties of marble in the international markets, Elazıg Cherry, Aksehir Black, Manyas White, Bilecik Beige, Tigerskin, Denizli Travertine, Aegean Bordeaux, Milas Lilac, Gemlik Diabase and Afyon Sugar is counted.

According to data from MIGEM (The General Directorate of Mining Affairs), production of natural stones has an upward trend in Turkey. Andesite, basalt, marble and travertine are main products in Turkish stone industry. Recently granite has been widely used in Turkey. Turkey has extensive granite reserves around Ordu, Rize, Trabzon, Balıkesir, Kırklareli, Bolu, Kırşehir, Izmit, Çanakkale and Izmir.

In the marble sector, there are 1.717 marble operating licenses (marble quarries), approximately 2.000 small and medium-sized factories and 9.000 workshops and approximately 300.000 people are employed. Almost all of the production is done by the private sector. about 16.5 million tons in 2018 in Turkey are made of natural stone production.

Turkey ranks third in the world marble export after China and Italy. In 2009, especially in the export of marble and travertine, China was the country that made the most exports, leaving Italy and Spain behind. Turkey is among the countries that export the most marble to the world’s largest marble (block or processed) importers such as China, India and the USA. Until 2011, the Middle East countries were an important market for Turkey’s marble sector, but political and political instability and war environment prevented the development of this market. However, marbles produced in Turkey are introduced in international fairs and exhibitions and find new markets.


Turkey possess 10 % of total world feldspar reserves. Turkey’s feldspar reserves are estimated to be 239 million tons (visible+potential). Important feldspar reserves are located in Manisa-Demirci, Kutahya-Simav, Aydın Çine and Mugla-Milas.

The rise in world production of white body tile and granito tile has increased the demand for feldspar. Turkish producers are now competing in the domestic and international markets to supply this material. Most of the feldspar is produced by the private sector and 90 % of the production is exported.

In 2019, our Feldspar exports decreased by 4,89 % in amount compared to the same period of the previous year, while in value with an increase of 4,71 %, it was realized as 6.35 million tons equivalent to 214.34 million dollars. In our feldspar exports, Spain ranks first with 72,551,088 dollars (10,06 % increase), followed by 71,497,447. Italy comes with $ 10,732,153 (increase 31,12 %) and the Russian Federation with $ 10,732,153 (decrease 3,7 %). Egypt, respectively. The Netherlands is followed by the United States.


Turkey’s magnesite reserves are about 168.4 million tons. Most of these reserves are concentrated in Konya-Kutahya-Eskisehir triangle. In addition some reserves are located in Erzincan and Canakkale.

Raw magnesite, dead burned and caustic calcined magnesite are produced in Turkey. Several small companies also produces raw magnesite. Some of them provide raw magnesite to the large domestic deadburned magnesite producers or to the ceramic industry, while others export their products. Magnesite is exported as raw magnesite, calcined, sintered and burned. Magnesite is also exported as bricks which are used in the iron-steel industry.

Exports of commodity “Natural magnesium carbonate (magnesite); fused magnesia; dead-burned (sintered) magnesia, whether or not containing small quantities of other oxides added before sintering; other magnesium oxide, whether or not pure.” amounted to 0.045 % of total exports from Turkey (cumulative merchandise exports from Turkey totalled $ 180 billion in 2019). The share of commodity group 2519 in total exports from Turkey decreased by  0.032 p.p. compared to 2018 (it was 0.078% in 2018 and cumulative exports from Turkey were equal to $ 168 billion).


Turkey’s proven, probable and possible pumice reserves are about 2.8 billion m3. The present reserves in Turkey are concentrated in Central Anatolia, especially in the Urgup Avanos and TalasTamarza Develi district of Kayseri. It is also found in the Bitlis, Van, Agrı and Kars districts of Eastern Anatolia, Nigde, Konya, Ankara, Isparta and Mugla.

The total value of Turkey’s pumice exports was US$ 14 million. China, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and the UAE were important pumice markets in 2019. In 2018 Turkey ranked 3rd in pumice exports in the world with a share of 6.8 %.


Turkey possess 26 million tons of baryte which is about 2,1 % of the total world reserves. These reserves include good quality baryte whether ground, crude or micronized. The largest share of Turkish baryte production is sold to oil drillers. Important baryte deposits are located in Konya, Maras, Mus, Antalya and Kutahya.

Being located near the most important consumers of barytes, Turkey has a good opportunity to export baryte products. In 2019, Iraq, Egypt, Ukraine and Azerbaijan were the major markets for Turkish barytes.


Turkey’s bentonite reserves are 370 million tons. The production of ground bentonite has been rising steadily during the last 20 years. At present Turkey is a net exporter of bentonite. Known bentonite deposits are found in Edirne-Enez, Çankırı, Tokat-Reşadiye, Ankara-Kalecik and Giresun-Tirebolu. Bentonite production and exports have increased in the 1990’s and reached US$ 47 million in 2015. Bentonite exports were mainly directed to Germany, the Netherlands, France and Italy.

Known kaolin reserves are in the Balıkesir village district of Marmara region, Nevsehir, Nigde, Bolu, Canakkale and East Black Sea region. Turkey’s probable kaolin reserves are about 100 million tons. In 2019, the total export value of kaolin was US$ 2 million. Tunisia, Lebanon, Syria, Greece and Italy ranked as top markets in 2019.


Over half of the perlite reserves of the world are in Turkey. Turkey’s possible perlite reserves are about 4.5 billion tons. The most important perlite reserves are found in Cumaovası, Manisa, Biga, Soma, Izmir, Dikili, Konya and Erzincan. In 2018, the majör destinations for perlite were Spain, Belgium, Italy, India and Brasil.


Calcium carbonate rocks are spread throughout the world, which is why they have been among the most widely used raw materials for more than 5.000 years. Turkey has 40 % of world calcite reserves. According to private sector representatives, in recent years calcite exports have increased significantly. Niğde, Çanakkale, Bayramiç, Biga, Ezine, Balıkesir, Trakya, Bursa, İzmir, Muğla are the major locations for calcite reserves.


Turkey, search and technology studies in the field of REE have accelerated recently, similar to the world. In this context, the construction of a pilot plant for the operation of basnazite ore in Eskisehir-Beylikova by Eti Mining Operations is ongoing. Exploration studies of MTA in Malatya, Burdur and Isparta are ongoing.

In addition, Rare Earth Elements Research Institute (NATEN) was established in order to monitor and encourage research in the field of REE in Turkey. NATEN started to continue their activities in the new established Turkey Power, Nuclear and Mining Research Institute (TENMAK) since 2020.


The main raw materials of the sector are quartz, quartzite, silica sand, feldspar, clay and kaolin. Turkey ranks in the 3rd place in ceramic production in the EU and 6th in the world. The abundance of the country’s raw material sources is the main reason for it. Turkey has 89 million tons of kaolin, 354 million tons of ceramic and refractor clay, 1.3 billion tons of silica sand and 2.3 billion tons of quartz-quartzite. The production capacity of Turkey in ceramic is 180 million m2 per year.

The glass sector also shows great development. The sector uses 1.4 million tons of silica sand per year. Glass raw materials have great potential; nevertheless, the production and export have not reached the desired level because of the lack of grinding and enrichment facilities. In ceramic and glass sector, good quality clay, kaolin, feldspar, and silica sand are imported.

A very large part of the industry is owned by the private capital. KÜMAS is privatized. The plants at Konya and Zonguldak-Filyos are to be privatized in 1997. Turkey is a net importer of silicate and basic bricks and mortars and an net exporter of construction materials and ceramics. Ceramics production is mostly owned by private companies, annual capacity being about 2 million tons. Most of the production is concentrated at sea of Marmara and Agean regions.


The chromite production of Turkey has increased significantly in recent years. The 2005 production figure is 1.6 million tons. With their high grade, chromite reserves in Turkey are worldwide scale. Turkey’s total chromite reserves are estimated as 26 million tons of over 20 % grade. In the chromite sector, too many small private companies are dominated the production. Public entities, Eti Krom and Eti Elektrometalurji, has privatized recently and there are no public productions in the sector any more.

The only state owned copper entity, Eti Bakır, has also privatized recently. However, the copper production has come to a standstill despite global high copper demand. Iron ore in Turkey is consumed domestically and far from meeting the home demand.

Turkey has approximately 340 tons of gold reserve and world’s famous gold companies’ interest in this subsector has been high during the last decade. The gold production has been approximately 10 tons in 2006. Although, there are only two gold mines (Bergama-Ovacık and Uşak-Kışladağ) are in operation today, too many gold feasibility studies and exploration programs are underway in Turkey.

Copper-Lead-Zinc deposits are found along the inland Black Sea Regions (Murgul- Damar, Akarsen and Cakmakkaya Mines; Espiye-Kızılkaya, Lahanos and Killik Mines; Of, Katarokdere Mine; Tirebolu, Harkoy Mine), Kastamonu (Kure Mine), Rize (Çayeli Mine), Artvin (Cerattepe mine), Thrace (Karatepe; low Cu-Mo deposit; 200 m tons) South of Marmara Sea (porphyry copper deposits), Erzurum (Ulutas 0.2 % Cu deposit); S. Eastren Turkey (Ergani Mine) and Siirt (Madenkoy deposit, 14 m tons Cu: 3 %). Lead and Zinc deposits are mainly in Balıkesir (Balya Mine); Çanakkale (Yenice Mines), Yozgat (Akdag Maden); Nigde (Bolkardag), Adana (Horzum), Kayseri (Aladag); Sivas (Koyulhisar ve Aktepe Mines). Two main iron ore metallogenic regions are in Sivas (Divrigi Mine), Malatya (Deveci and Karakuz mines), Kayseri, Maras, Adana (Attepe mine) provinces.

Chromite deposits are found in ultrabasic rock formations covered by host rock peridotite and are situated along the Alpine orogenic zones. Chromite has been mined in Turkey at Harmancık, Bursa first in 1848. Deposits are largely podiform and found in about 40 provinces of Turkey. Major mineralizations are concentrated in Elazıg (Guleman). Erzincan (Kopdagı), Maras-Adana, Eskisehir, Kütahya, Denizli, Mugla, and Bursa provinces. Few of these deposits are well explored.

Gold deposits, workable reserves are 76.6 tons gold content, the largest deposits being found in Ovacyk, Bergama owned by Eurogold Ltd. Kaymaz deposit west of Ankara and Küçükdere deposit SE of Edremit, both owned by a Turkish subsidiary of Gencor of South Africa. Potential gold reserves are estimated to be 17 tons and heavy metals associated reserves 42 tons. In 1992 eight foreign companies had 493 mining permits to explore gold in Turkey.

Three types of aluminium minerals are found in Turkey; boehmite bauxite in Seydisehir Konya where Etibank’s aluminium operations are situated, diasporite in Mugla province and iron rich bauxite in Iskenderun-Hatay provinces.


Turkey has nearly 900 iron deposits, whereas only 31 of them are in exploitable condition or some of them are currently being exploited. The annually total iron ore production ranges from 3.9 to 4.5 million ton in Turkey. However, iron resources of Turkey can supply the demand of the country only for the next 10 years. Turkey’s annual iron need is around 10 million tons and half of this is supplied by import. Thus, Turkey currently needs iron ore. For this reason, effective exploration programs for iron ore should be planned and production should be increased.

500 of these deposits were examined in detail and were genetically subdivided into 6 types; contact metasomatic (Kayseri, Erzincan, Malatya), hydrothermal metasomatic (Adana-Feke), volcano-sedimentary (Malatya, Balıkesir), marine-sedimentary (Sakarya), lateritic (Sivas-Eskişehir) and placer deposits (Sivas).

Turkey’s iron reserves areconcentrated in Sivas, Malatya, Bingöl, Adana and Kayseri regions. In addition to these ores, there are iron ore reserves in different sizes in Ankara, Balıkesir and Adapazarı regions, and the produced ore is used in cement plants. Turkey meets approximately one-third of its own production of iron consumption. Turkey’s total iron reserve is nearly 150 million tons with 50-55 % Fe and Turkey can produce 4-4.5 million tons of iron ore per year. However, Turkey has nearly 1.5 billion tons problematic iron ore reserves.

Turkish steel production showed third yearly drop in 2015.  On the other hand, global steel production fell for the first time in 2015 after the sharp drop during the global financial crisis in 2009. According to the World Steel Association’s data, in 2015 world crude steel production fell 2.8 % from 1.67 billion tons to 1.62 billion tons. While production dropped in all the regions, among all the 15 steel making countries, only India’s steel production grew. Aside from India, the other 14 steelmaking countries experienced decrease in production, however, Ukraine’s production rates suffered the most declining by -15.6%, USA followed with -10.5%.  After Ukraine and USA, with -7.4 % production drop rate Turkey was the third country to have largest decline in steel production. Because of the sharp fall in production, Turkey lost its position in the world’s largest steelmaking countries list and dropped to 9th rank from 8th.


Turkey’s proven copper reserves are about 3.7 million tons metal copper, total reserves  are 15.8 million tons. Turkey has three important copper reserves; the East Black Sea, Southeast Anatolia and thrace. Rods, profiles and cables are the most important export products in the sector. Turkey’s copper ore exports were US$ 284 million in 2017. The main buyers were China, Finland, Sweden and India.

According to the data of 2018 in Turkey, the total production of copper ore was 6,6 million tons. While the export of copper ore and enriched copper ore in Turkey has been on a downward trend since 2015, it exported approximately 188 thousand tons in 2019, amounting 57 % more than in the previous year. Copper mines in Kastamonu-Küre, Artvin-Murgul, Rize-Çayeli are the main copper producing enterprises in Turkey. In Samsun Smelter and Electrolysis Facility, blister and rainer copper are produced.

Main operating companies are Black Sea Copper Operations Co. KBI, Ankara; ETIBANK (Ankara); Çayeli Copper Operations Co. (Ankara) annual production capacities are about 5.2 m tons ore, 380.000 tons Cu concentrate, 85.000 tons zinc concentrate and 620 tons pyrite concentrate. KBI also owns and operate Samsun Flash (copper) Smelter (capacity 39 000 tons blister copper) and sulphuric acid plant (capacity 120.000 tons). Copper refineries annual capacites are 137.000 tons in Marmara Sea area, 36.000 tons in Denizli, Kayseri and Ankara, (MKEK, 4.000 tons which is state owned). All other refineries are private owned.

In 2019, our copper ore exports were 55,32 % in amount and 42,7 % in value compared to the same period of the previous year. by increasing the rate of 185.500 tons, it was realized as 172,89 million dollars. While Bulgaria ranks first in our copper ore exports with $ 82,819,100 (56,17 % increase), The People’s Republic of China comes with $ 75,444,822 (increase 103.92 %) and Malaysia with $ 5,977,423 (decrease 34,04 %). These countries are respectively followed by Serbia, Namibia and Romania.


Bauxite deposits in Turkey are located in Silifke-Taşucu, Zonguldak-Kokaksu, Islahiye-Payas, Yalvac-Şarkikaraagac, Milas-Mugla, Alanya, İcel-Bolkardag, Tufanbeyli-Saimbeyli regions. In these deposits; Seydisehir-Akseki, Silifke-Tasucu and Zonguldak depoists are boehmitic type, Islahiye-Payas, Yalvaç-Sarkikaraagac depoists are iron-bauxite type and Milas-Mugla, Alanya, İcel-Bolkardagı, Tufanbeyli-Saimbeyli deposits are diasporitic type. The bauxite reserves are about 87 million tons. These reserves are suitable for aluminum production. Moreover, Turkey holds the 0.4 % of world bauxite reserves and 0.3 % of annual production of the world. Besides aluminum production, bauxite is also used in the production of cement with alumina. The bauxite reserves of Turkey are enough for nearly 60 years, but the modernization and production capacities of the current facilities should be improved.

Turkey’s only integrated aluminum factory capable of manufacturing up to final product and metal from the ore from which aluminum obtained Eti Aluminum Co., the region in which it operates and continues to work in Turkey by contributing to the economy. The facility, whose modernization work continues, has been built from the beginning with an investment of 580 million dollars since its privatization. In the closing stages of the meat, which at the time of privatization Aluminum Co., Konya Seydisehir businesses, today meets 10 % of Turkey’s aluminum needs.

Eti Alüminyum, AS whose production capacity was increased to 82 thousand tons thanks to the new technology that was put into use in the middle of 2015, providing approximately 15 % energy efficiency in the renewal process. By processing 550,000 mt/year of bauxite ore, it can produce 260,000 mt/year of aluminum oxide (alumina) by using 400,000 mt/year of aluminum hydroxide and its own production of aluminum hydroxide in addition to 160,000 mt of cast products. In the facility, aluminum ingot, t-ingot, round ingot, flat ingot, alloy ingot, hot rolled coil, plate, strip etc. products are produced and sold.


Chrome mining started in 1850 in Turkey, which has taken an important place in world chrome mining since then. Chrome deposits are genetically Alpine type and this type of deposits are defined as small volume with high grade mineralizations. Deposits related to the ophiolitic rock types and mineralizations are located in the top and bottom of ophiolitic sequences. Chrome deposits in Turkey are geographically clustered in 6 different regions. These are Elazıg-Guleman comes first in production and Sivas-Erzincan, Erzincan-Erzurum, Kopdag, Bursa, Kütahya, Mersin, Adana, Kayseri and Muğla, Denizli.

Turkey is a country rich in chromium deposits. The main chrome deposits in Turkey, which have many chrome deposits, are located in Fethiye, Köycegiz (Mugla), Guleman (Elâzıg), Kop Mountain (Bayburt), Mersin and Kayseri, between Balıkesir and Eskisehir, between Iskenderun and Kahramanmaras. Turkey, among the world’s most chrome-producing countries, is exporting a portion of the chromium production. In Turkey, the factories that process chrome are located in Elâzıg and Antalya.

Turkey is an important country in the chrome production. The main competitors in this market are in Turkey, Kazakhstan and India. Turkish chromite ores; since metal is easily reduced by carbon, its metal recovery efficiency is high, it can be used in direct ferro chrome production as a trough, it is possible to produce quality metal (FeCr) due to its low silica content, it provides less high dust/pollination due to its high Cr/Fe ratio and it provides a market advantage due to the fact that the slag is easily workable. Therefore, some of FeCr products can be sold in niche market where quality products are sold.

In 2019, our exports of chrome ores were 10,57 % in quantity and 27,13 % in value compared to the same period of the previous year. by showing a decrease of 1.29 million tons, it was realized as 223.88 million dollars. While the People’s Republic of China ranked first with $ 142,178,172 (35.94 % decrease) in our chrome ores exports, Sweden follows with $ 52,148,533 (3.16 % increase) and the Russian Federation with $ 12,250,567 (up 13.98 %). These countries are respectively followed by Belgium, Japan and Ukraine.

In 2019, our Ferro Chrome exports increased by 1.37 % in amount compared to the same period of the previous year, while in value With a decrease of 19.27 %, it was realized as 166,08 million dollars corresponding to 104,853 tons. Holland ranks first in Ferro Chrome exports with $ 25,338,680 (26.06 % decrease), after this country Italy comes with $ 21,962,960 (decrease 21.53%) and Belgium with $ 20,558,029 (increase 88.72 %). These countries respectively Japan, Slovenia and the United States followed.

Turkey has a 6 % share in world chromite mining and possess 25 million tons of reserves. Ferrochromium is the most important product in production and exports. The majority of Turkey’s chromite production has been consumed, by the ferrochromium industry. In 2017 Turkey ranked 3rd in chromite exports in the world with a share of 12,8 %.

In recent years, South Africa, Turkey ranks fourth in the world market with the introduction of chromium chromium Kazakhstan and India. Turkey is exporting chrome that it produces. Also; Turkey instead of being an exporter of raw ore rivals as mentioned above, the exchange provides the raw ore exports by exporting semi-finished and finished products should aim to increase 3-5 times.


Turkey’s potential gold reserves are 6.500 tons. 700 tons of this is ready for processing. Recent exploration activities have also indicated increased reserves of gold. The major locations for gold (metal) production are Bergama-Ovacık,  Gümüshane-Mastra, Usak-Kısladagı and Erzincan-Ilic. Turkey’s silver metal reserve is 6.062 tons (visible+potential). Reserves are concentrated in Artvin, Balıkesir, Elazıg, İzmir, Kütahya, Nigde, Ordu, Sivas and Erzincan.

Turkey can be seen as a country rich in gold mine. Turkey constitutes the world’s land surface area of ​​0,5 % and 1,0 % of the world’s population. Turkey’s share in world mineral reserves, according to the ratio greater than one selected from the rich countries, it means less than poor. With this approach, we can qualify as important mines for Turkey, where we have more than 0,5 % share in the world reserves (Turkey has about 2 % of gold resources). Because gold production in Turkey does not meet the consumption, Turkey is one of the world’s most important importer of gold. In the last 20 years an average of 156 tons/year of gold near our imports reached 324 tonnes in 2018 to carry up the gold imports in Turkey. For this reason, as a result of the National Energy and Mining Policy applied in recent years to evaluate the potential of mining in the country, it has started to generate significant foreign exchange savings and employment while increasing the revenues from business based trade.

Gold production in Turkey first started officially in Izmir-Bergama in the Ovacik gold mine in 2001. The production of gold, which was 1,4 tons/year at the beginning and the production of gold mines with the new operation increased to 38 tons/year in 2019. Following the increase in gold market prices, Turkey’s production potential is thought to be 50 tons/year.


While the global silver production has been around 27 thousand tons in its last years, silver, which has increased by 3 % since the end of 2016, seems to be an important mine for Turkey. Turkey meat commissioned Silver Inc.’s facilities in 1987, is Turkey’s first and only pit-run manufacturer of metallic silver from ore with an integrated process up to the final product stage. Turkey’s silver production continues to increase over the years. While silver prices in the world market were around 10 $/ounce in the 2000’s, today they have reached 17 $/ounce. This shows that silver mining is an important position for the country’s economy.


In Turkey, there are mining companies that produce nickel in Manisa-Gördes, Eskisehir-Mihalıcık and Sivrihisar. Turkey pit-run import and export nickel ore and intermediate products when analyzed for nickel ore exports in 2019 were carried out 1,780 dollars, while imports amounted to 1.5 million dollars. However, in 2019 unalloyed nickel (99 % purity Nickel) imports amounted to 76 million dollars, while exports amounted to 1.6 million dollars.


Turkey’s zinc reserves are about 2.7 million tons. Although Turkey has 2,07 % of world zinc reserves, ore production is only 0,28 % of world production. Zinc oxide ore reserves are located in the Zamanti (Kayseri-Nigde-Adana) district of Middle Taurus. In addition some small reserves are found in Konya, Malatya, Bingol and Bitlis.

CINKUR Lead and Zinc Company of Kayseri is the only producer of electrolytic zinc ingot (36.000 tons/year capacity) cadmium metal in bars or plates (112 tons/year). CINKUR was privatized in 1996 and its shares were purchased by Iranian capital. A water jacket lead smalter is being built by CINKUR which is expected to be operative during mid-1997. Existing lead smelters are all owned by private companies except one, in Kyrykkale which is owned by MKEK Machinery and Chemical Ind. Co. Turkey’s lead smelting and refining capacity in 1996 was 15.000 tons, production 7.500 tons, consumption about 30.000 tons. Turkey is an importer of lead and zinc metal.

According to MTA data, zinc metal content source in Turkey is at the level of 2.3 million tons. In the world, the defined zinc source has been calculated as 1.9 billion tons. Zinc is one of the three most important metals in non-ferrous metals following aluminum and copper. These three metals are mainly used to increase the corrosion resistance of iron and steel, and to make special alloys and brass alloys used in the casting industry. The recycling rate is relatively low and zinc is largely dependent on mining activities, is also used in the roofing materials and tire industry (as ZnO).

The total amount of reserves on a global scale is 250 million tons, and Australia is at the first place with a 27% share. The mines in Balıkesir-Balya Rize-Çayeli in Turkey are the main enterprises producing zinc.

Zınc ore In 2019, Turkey exports of zinc ores were 23,57 % in quantity and 21,27 % in value compared to the same period of the previous year. by showing a decrease of 734.753 tons, it was realized as 350.21 million dollars. While Belgium ranks first with 140.288.101 dollars (25,79 % decrease) in our zinc ores export, Iran with 54.518.812 dollars (22,22 % decrease), and Spain with 34.824.331 dollars (45,01 % decrease). These countries Mexico, Japan and Germany follow respectively.

In 2019, our export of lead ores was 6,34 % in amount and 23,8 % in value compared to the same period of the previous year by showing a decrease of 118.012 tons, it was realized as 147.72 million dollars. While the People’s Republic of China ranks first in our lead ores exports with 128,209,710 dollars (1,66 % increase), South Korea with $ 12,179,658 (decrease 56,44 %) and Bulgaria with $ 3,726,571 (increase 107,71 %). These countries are followed by Belgium, Thailand, Iran.


Turkey has limited oil, natural gas and hard coal reserves and production. Lignite is the most important energy resource of Turkey with approximately 17.2 billion tons of reserves. The lignite reserves are extended all over the country but generally poor in calorific value. Turkey production of lignite coal was at level of 93,917 thousand short tons in 2018, up from 78,770 thousand short tons previous year, this is a change of 19.23%. A very big part of the production is utilized for power generation purpose. However, the rising amount of natural gas import has impeded the development of the lignite production in recent years.

In 2016, Except for lignite the output of mineral fuels was modest. Turkey was ranked mondially 6th in the production of Lignite (7,05 % of the total mondial production) as it represents the biggest national energy resource of the country. However, Turkey was ranked 20th in the production of coking coal, 27th in the production of steam coal (0,03 %), 51th in the production of petrolium (0,06 %) and 70th in the production of natural gas (0,01 %).

In the light of the above-mentioned statistics, Turkey remains highly dependent on imported hard coal, oil and gas as more than half of the energy requirement is supplied by imports. In fact, on average, the energy demand of Turkey is mounting by 8 % annually which is one of the highest rates in the world. However, the country is working on empowering its domestic energy sources (renewable energy, nuclear energy, and coal) to cover the increasingly higher demand for energy needed for the socio-economical development of the country.

As of 2017 Turkey was 11th in the list of countries by coal production, and mined 1,3 % of the world’s coal, with lignite and sub-bituminous deposits widespread throughout the country. Due to the country’s geology, there is no hard coal, which has a higher energy density (over 7.250 kcal/kg), within 1000 m of the surface. All coal deposits are owned by the state but over half of mining is private sector. In 2017 almost half of Turkey’s coal production was mined by the state-owned mines, but the government is seeking an expansion of privatization. As of 2019, there are 436 coal mining companies, 740 coal mines, and more mining and exploration licences are being tendered. However, some drilling companies are not bidding for licences because mineral exploration is more profitable and in 2018 many mining licences were combined with coal licenses. Mining is documented in the “e-maden” computer system (“maden” means “mine” in Turkish). Coal miners do not have the right to According to the Eleventh Development Plan (2019-2023): “Exploration of lignite reserves will be completed and the plant will be ready for tender.”

Hardcoal deposits at Eastern Black Sea Cost have been operated since 1865 at Zonguldak. Coal mineralization at Kastamonu province is not duly explored and may have potential coal reserves. Zonguldak coal basin mineralization has more than 30 seams varying in thickness and ash content.

Most of the seams (Kozlu, Üzülmez, Karadon Mines) are coking coals with sulfur content less than 1%. Coal seams at Armutçuk and Amasra are non-coking coals, sulfur content beign more than 1%. Lower heat value of all the basin coals are between 6.000-6.500 Kcal/kg. The coal seams extend from 400 m above sea level to 1300 m below sea level. The remaining reserves are mostly under sea level. The seams are generally highly inclined and extent under the Black Sea. Total workable reserves are 700 million tons.

Coal production in Turkey in 2018; it was realized as 83.9 million tons in total; 81.08 million tons of lignite, 1.10 million tons of hard coal and 1.75 million tons of asphaltite. In 2018, 122.7 million tons of coal was consumed.

In 2018, Turkey’s primary energy supply was 143,666 mtep. 41,03 (Hard Coal, Lignite, Asphaltite, Coke) mtep and coal took the third place in the distribution of this supply to resources. In 2018, a total of 113,248.6 GWs of electricity was produced from coal-based power plants, 50,260.1 GWs from domestic coal (Lignite-Asphaltite-Hard Coal) power plants, and 62,988.5 GWs from imported coal-based power plants. The share of electricity produced from coal-based power plants in 2018 was 37,16 % in total electricity generation, while the share of domestic coal (lignite+hard coal asphaltite) was 16,49 %.

The installed power of Turkey’s coal-based power plant corresponds to 22,02 % of the total installed power by the end of June 2020. While the ratio of installed power based on domestic coal to total installed power was 12,28 %, the ratio of installed power based on imported coal to total installed power was 9,74 %.

Figure 4 – Coal Basins of Turkey, MTA, 2015


During the past three years, even though the manpower and the payroll cost of hardcoal mining operations has been reduced greatly from the 1993 level as. Hardcoal Enterprise of Turkey (TTK) suffered large commercial losses during the same years totaling about 1.4 billion USD and had to be subsidized from the national budget.

The Zonguldak basin in the northwest is the only coal mining region in Turkey that produces hard coal, about 2 million tons a year fromdon, Kozlu and Uzulmez. Compared to other countries, the energy value of the coal is low, at 4.000 kilocalories per kilogram (1.800 kcal/lb) to 6.000 kcal/kg (2.700 kcal/lb). Although low grade it is generally of cokeable or semi-cokeable quality. Because there is so much faulting and folding, mining in the region is very difficult. Longwall mining is necessary due to the tectonic structure of the seams.

Soma areas of Zonguldak coal basin are to be made available for private mining. The suspension of TTK’s hardcoal mining is not advocated by any of the political parties beacuse of social and political considerations.


Lignite deposits are widespread all over Turkey, in Neogene formations. Lower heat values vary from 1.100 to 4.500 Kcal per kg, some are even higher. However their sulfur content is generally high. Soma (Manisa) and Tuncbilek (Kütahya) lignites are higher in heat content and lower in sulfur content. Some lignites contain more than 3 % sulfur. The largest lignite deposit of Afsin-Elbistan coals with proven reserves of 3.357 million tons has a lower heat value of 1.050 Kcal/kg and 1.5 ton 2.0 percent sulphur content.

Lignite outcrops have been found in all Neogen formations covering almost one half of surface area of Turkey; up to 20 % of these formations are a potential source of lignite deposits which may be discovered if exploration drills beyond the bazalt formations overlaying the Neogen formations are undertaken in the future.

Figure 5 – Leading Countries Based on Lignite Reserves in 2018 (in million met.ton)

The major lignite deposits are in the Kahramanmaras-Elbistan, Mugla-Yatagan, Manisa-Soma, Kutahya–Tuncbilek-Seyitömer, Ankara-Beypazarı and Sivas-Kangal basins. Turkey has nearly 11.5 billion tons lignite reserves and 1.1 tons of lignite has been produced. Turkey is in the 7th place for its reserves and in the 6th place for lignite production.

In 2018 Turkey was the third-largest lignite mining country with 7 % of world production. The most significant deposits of lignite coal were laid down in the geological Neogene period. Almost half of the country’s lignite reserves are in the Afsin-Elbistan basin. Lignite coalfields include Elbistan, Kutahya Tavsanlı, Inez, Manisa, İnagzı-Baglık and Gediz and 90 % of lignite production is from surface mines. Locations of major individual lignite mines include Tuncbilek in Tavsanlı, Yatagan near the southern Aegean, Yenikoy in Mugla and Seyitomer in Kütahya and there is a gilstone mine in Silopi Turkish lignite has high carbon, sulphur, ash, moisture and volatile components. Its calorific value is less than 12.5 MJ/kg and that from Afsin Elbistan has less than 5 MJ/kg, which is a quarter of typical thermal coal.


More than 600 hot water resources with 102 0C have been discovered in recent years in Turkey and also nearly 183 new geothermal areas (35-40 0C) have been revealed with drilling programs carried out by MTA. Turkey, according to its geothermal energy, comes first in the EU and is 7th in the world. Potential areas are mainly located in western Anatolia. Denizli-Kızıldere power plant, the only power plant of Turkey using geothermal energy, generates 114 MWe electricity. In Afyon, Kütahya, Balıkesir, İzmir-Balçova, Ankara-Kızılcahamam and Manisa-Salihli areas, geothermal energy has been used for heating.

The geothermal capacity of Turkey is very high. 78 % of these geothermal fields are situated in Western Anatolia, 9% in Central Anatolia, 7 % in the Marmara Region, 5% in Eastern Anatolia and 1 % in the other regions. 90 % of our geothermal resources are low and medium enthalpy geothermal areas which are suitable for direct applications (heating, thermal tourism, industrial usage, etc.), while 10 % are suitable for indirect applications (generation of electricity). First geothermal electricity generation held in 1975 was initiated by Kızıldere power plant with 0.5 MWe power.

In order to develop existing resources and to search for new resources/fields, drillings reached from 2.000 meters to 28.000 meters. Since 2005, with the support of our Ministry, the development of existing geothermal resources initiated and began to search for new potential areas. In 2008, in conjunction with the Geothermal Resources and Natural Mineralized Waters Law, private sector began to introduce development and investment of geothermal projects also. In conjunction with this development, the country’s total geothermal heat capacity (visible amount of heat) reached to 35.500 MWt. The potential for electricity generation in Turkey is estimated at 2000 MWe and also heat potential is 31.500 MWt.


Known deposits are in Silopi and Sırnak of SE Turkey. There are eleven seams extending over an area about 3 Kms by 1300 meters. Width of the seams vary from 4.5 meters to 20 meters and have lower heat values of 4.000-4.500 kcal/kg. Sulphur content 6.5 to 7.0 percent.


Turkey’s main hydrocarbon exploration areas are SE Anatolia, Thrace, Black Sea inland basins, Taurus Mountains, Adana Province and East Anatolia basins. The first crude oil discovery in Turkey was made in 1940 at a depth of 1.048 m. Until 1993 total crude oil reserves discovered in Turkey was 931.5 million tons of which 126.7 million tons were recoverable; production 41.4 million tons. End of 1996 remaining known reserves are 27 million tons.

Natural gas reserves are found mostly in Thrace and partly in SE TURKEY. Until the end of 1992 natural gas reserves discovered in Turkey were 18.4 billion cubic meters; recoverable 13 billion cubic meters. End of 1996 remaining recoverable reserves are 10.2 billion cubic meters.

Turkey, a total of 9.536.832 meters of drilling were drilled until the end of 2019 and 5,063 wells were drilled. 200.301 km2 dimensional, 67.422 km2 3-dimensional seismic studies were carried out offshore and 184.400 km2 -dimensional and 20.147 km2 3-dimensional seismic studies were carried out onshore. In 2019, 153 wells were drilled by drilling 340,863 meters in Turkey. Crude oil production was 2.984.800 tons and the remaining producible oil reserve is 51.076.078 tons.

Exploration works in the seas continue at full speed in order to bring Turkey’s oil and natural gas resources to our economy and to reduce our dependency on foreign countries. In this context, two seismic ships and three drill ships were brought to Turkey. Applications for oil exploration licenses are carried out by the General Directorate of Mining and Petroleum Affairs.

In addition to our crude oil imports of 31 million tons in 2019, 13.7 million tons of petroleum products were imported. However, 14.3 million tons of petroleum products were exported. The countries from which we import crude oil are mainly Russia, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria and Libya.


Turkey consumed about 45.3 billion m3 in 2019, a total of 483 million m3 of natural gas and production. The remaining producible reserve is approximately 3.36 billion m3. With the new fields discovered as a result of the drilling performed for natural gas in Turkey in 2018 and 2019, natural gas production has increased in the last two years, and production has increased by 20 % in 2018 and 11 % in 2019 compared to previous years.

In 2019, approximately 45.21 billion m3 of natural gas was imported. LNG imports accounted for 28% of the total natural gas imports in 2019. In the same year, only 762 million m3 natural gas was exported to Greece. The natural gas market in the world acts in parallel with the oil market. Natural gas prices were also quite low in 2020, when oil prices saw their lowest levels. Within the scope of the activities to meet the increasing need for oil and natural gas from domestic resources as much as possible, the studies carried out in Turkey’s poorly sought-after basins and especially in the marine areas in the Black Sea and the Mediterranean have accelerated. In recent years, hydrocarbon exploration has gained momentum with seismic data collection and drilling activities in our seas, as developments in marine drilling technology have revealed exploration and production opportunities in areas with high water depths (1.000-2.500 m). In this context, 2 seismic exploration and 3 drilling vessels were provided through both purchasing and domestic manufacturing.

In order to ensure the diversity of resources in the field of natural gas supply security of Turkey and to become a natural gas trade center in the medium and long term, our works continue in line with national energy policies.


According to the report prepared by MTA in 2017, uranium and thorium resources in the in Turkey are located in 5 different bed which is about 12.614 tons in total. Although the average grade and reserves of these 5 deposits are within the world-accepted economic limits in the years they were sought, these values ​​have remained well below the current economic evaluation limits.

This is due to the significant changes in nuclear power plant planning in recent years, especially in Canada and Australia, uranium deposits with high grade and low production costs. While Uranium (U3O8) prices decreased in 2017, it later compensated this decline and rose to the highest level of the last four years today.


In Turkey, the Mineral Research and Exploration as a result of the work done by the General Directorate in the past years, Eskisehir, rare earths and thorium complex ore deposit in Sivrihisar-Kizilcaoren region, the average grade of 374.000 tonnes appears that ThO2 0,2 % reserves have been identified. However, technological problems related to enrichment of thorium in the area in question have not been solved yet.

Apart from this region, it is estimated that the thorium reserve of Turkey will increase as a result of more detailed exploration studies in Malatya-Hekimhan-Kuluncak, Kayseri-Felâhiye, Sivas, Diyarbakır and Burdur-Canaklı sites, where thorium beds have been identified. With thorium deposits that are found and being investigated in Turkey, one of the countries with the world’s largest reserves of thorium can be said to be in position. Provided that the technological problems can be solved, Turkey, has a significant potential for thorium nuclear energy, which is our raw material and thorium mine has a very rich mineral wealth classification in class. Thorium prices were at 29 $/lb in 2015, reaching 33 $/lb in 2017, and this balance continues at this level.

Turkey even though not a very large country, because of its complicated geology and geography, its mainland Anatolia is called Asia Minor, where a large variety of mineral deposits are found. However Turkey’s presently known mineral deposits are not large enough to make Turkey a mineral rich country. Hardcoal and Crude oil reserves are considered to be scarce; the base metals deposits discovered so far are not large enough to sustain a production which will meet the domestic demand created by the growing population and the developing manufacturing industry. Scarcity of investment capital which is typical of all developing countries has been the main reason why Turkey’s mineral resource so far have not been explored well enough. Turkish private capital until recent years has never been interested enough to undertake integrated mining projects neither alone or in joint venture with foreign capital. The governemnt’s policty until the last decade has not encouraged foreign risk capital in mining. Instead the state has had to undertake fixed capital incestments in sub-marginal hardcoal projects because of partly national security and partly social considerations. State financed projects in basic metals projects have also generally been submarginal because of their small scale capacities selected because of small size mineral deposits discovered with limited exploration expenditures.

Because of the high demand created by state owned thermal power stations the state has undertaken large capacity lignite mining projects which are generally operated at reasonable profits. Turkey’s borate mineral resources, probably largest known deposits in the world which are under state monopoly are developed in large capacities compatable with market demand and operated profitably. However state operated hardcoal operation’s losses generally wipe out all of the profit made by other state owned primary mining operations and as such is a continuous drain on the Turkish economy.

Turkey’s privately owned mining operations with few exceptions have been until the past decade, confined to outcrop drift mining for the production of marketable ore or concentrate with the lowest risk capital expenditure possible; therefore their capacities are very small and flexibility to compete during depressed markets is very limited.

During the last two decades the development of manufacturing industry based on industrial minerals has been the main cause for the vertical integration of such industries into primary mining to safeguard the supply of their main inputs in acceptable world quality standards. This has also promoted the exports of such minerals during the past decade.

The above data confirms the preference of both local and foreign capital to invest in minerals based industry rather than the primary mining, the line of priority being cement, iron and steel and non-ferrous metals industry. To this list sodium chemicals and glass industry may be included in the future if Etibank’s trona project is undertaken by a joint-venture including the private capital.

Foreign capital’s main interest in the future may be directed to the exploration and development of base metals potential of Turkey in Black Sea and Agean Regions which are unexplored if Turkey’s economic stability, social and political climate change for the better in the near future and if attractive additional incentives such as Corporation and income tax exemptions of several years are granted for the owners of large size integrated mining projects.

During the past six years neither fixed investment nor production growth in primary mining has been as anticipated by the government and in fact the production growth has been in the negative mainly because of lack of investment. Until year 2000 the goverment’s anticipation is a growth of mining production at an annual average rate of less than what is anticipated for the overall economy.

Prospect for growth in the minerals based industry will be greater than in the primary mining. Growth of production in cement, clay products, ceramics, sodium and boron Chemicalls will continue in line with the growing domestic and export markets.

In the long term future Turkey’s Geothermal resources will have a large share in her energy consumption for space heating and electricity production. Exports of water from southern Turkey to her southern neighbours shall also be a sustained source of foreign currency income.

Additionally in the long term future, Turkey’s hard currency drain caused by her high import reliance in crude oil and natural gas will be partly compensated by her income from the pipelines transportation of said fuels through Turkey to Western Europe from the Turkic Republic and other Middle East Countries.

Exploration strategies for mineral resources are closely related to many factors such as technology, knowledge, industry’s needs, regional development and investment priorities. In Turkey, mining industry has risen over the past 50 years due to rapidly growing industry in the country. For this reason, Turkey is now one of the most dynamic mining destinations in word. Although it has nearly 60 different types of minerals and also it already has an important place in the world mining industry, Turkey is still at an early stage in the mining sector. When all the data are taken into consideration; Turkey’s mineral export target should be at least 20 billion USD in the next decades. For this reason, true and effective exploration programs should be planned/re-planned to achieve the export target and reveal the correct mineral potential of the country.

In Turkey almost all of the mineral deposits in shallow environments have been discovered and consumed. For this reason, exploration facilities for buried and conceptual deposits have gained priority. Nevertheless, most of the mine exploration facilities in Turkey have been sustained in the shallow environments (near 200-300 m. depth). Hence, explorations are targeting buried deposits in Turkey. On the other hand, with the correct exploration programs, Turkey has potential for the energy raw materials, geothermal energy resources and also iron, gold-base metal, rare earth element (REE), lithium, trona – gypsum, and kaolin – feldspar and strontium salts-sodium sulphate deposits. Existing mineral deposits indicated below, previous studies and available mineral deposits models support this idea.

Furthermore, exploration and capitalization on the mineral deposits with low grade and large volumes are accepted as common strategies because of the economic conditions and consumption of high grade and small volume deposits in the world. Moreover, with the increase in raw material prices due to the economic condition, and also new exploration strategies, low graded mineral deposits with technological problems have gained value. Accordingly, Turkey will become even more important since it hosts high grade/small volume and also undiscovered burial deposits.


The diversity, quantity and quality of the reserves together with its significant capacity of production made Turkey one the important global mining forces in the world. In addition, the developed infrastructure and the geographical advantages which contribute to the efficiency of the transportation and shipping of the produced materials rank Turkey as the 25th mining force in the world.

Experts predict that the mining sector in Turkey will continue to grow in the next few years and emphasize that the interest of foreign investors in favor of the metal industries will assist in the development of the sector in the future. Furthermore, the beneficial regulations and procedures established by the government as the studied prices, the no tax policy on the exported minerals and imported processing equipments with the promotion of mining activities will be of great benefit to the economical growth of the country.

According to IMIB, the most exported mining resources by Turkey are Marble, natural stones, Boron concentrates and products, Chromium, Na-feldspar, Magnesite, Copper, Zinc, Gypsum, Barite and Pumice. In fact, today the natural stones sector (Marble, Limestone, Onyx, Conglomerate, Breccia, Granite, Syenite, Diabase, Diorite, Antigorite, etc.) has become a leading sector in terms of mining exports. Between 2003 and 2016, exports of natural stones rose by 333 % from 1,5 megaton to 6,5 megaton. However, the country remains import dependant for other minerals in order to cover the deficit or the need for materials of a specific quality. The most imported resources are: hard coal, Iron, Marble and natural stones, Phosphate, Copper, Magnesite, Ka-feldspar, Chromium, Sulfur, Silica sand and Graphite. Table 4 displays the significant revenues of the mining sector to the economy of Turkey between 2013 and 2017.

Table 2- Mineral export statistics the changes of mining exportation.

YearNatural Stone (USD)Mining, natural stones not included (USD)Total (USD)
20132 225 035 6042 818 873 2645 043 908 868
20142 128 729 7672 518 282 6414 647 012 409
20151 907 225 1561 993 512 7933 900 737 949
20161 805 899 3821 980 867 3533 786 766 734
20172 048 092 4642 640 147 8644 688 240 328

The distribution values of exports by mineral groups are also displayed in Fig. 1. On the basis of an analysis of these values, in 2017, the total exports of industrial raw materials represented 925,633,217 $ which is 14.56% higher when compared to the previous year, natural stones export in 2017 was 2,059,301,144 $. Furthermore, the total exports of metallic ore increased by 51.13 %.

The share of the mining products export value in the total export value of Turkey between 2013 and 2017 is displayed in Table 3. According to this table, the share of mineral export value in the total export value accounted for 3 % in 2017.

Table3 – Share of mine exports in total export values.

YearTotal Export Value (x 1.000 $)Mineral Export Value (x 1.000 $)Share of mineral export value in the total export value (%)

The exports value of the mining sector, which accounted for 4.68 billion USD out of a total export value of 156.7 billion USD in 2017 thus covering 3% of our country’s total exports, realized an increase by 23.8 % when compared to the previous year.

Figure 6 – Distribution of the export value in Turkey by mineral group (%)

Until the establishment of Turkish Republic in 1923 Turkish private capital had only 20 percent ownership of Turkish Mining Operations. The remaining 80 percent was owned by foreign investors (75 %) and minorities (5 %). In 1924 Türkiye Is Bankası purchased part of the hardcoal mining operations in Zonguldak Coal Basin. Goverment’s direct involvement in mining dates back more than six decades when MTA (General Directorate of Mineral Research and Exploration) and Etibank were established in 1935, the former to carry out the geological survey as well as mine exploration and mineral research, while the latter was to carry out all of the public owned mining operations. Today Etibank carries out all of the non-ferrous metal mining and most of the industrial minerals operations owned by the public.

Some industrial minerals mining for the sugar, fertilizer, cement, refractories and ceramic industries are carried out by the Public Corporations concerned. Etibank and two of its former major participations, namely CINKUR, Zinc and Lead Corporation which is privatized and essentially owned by foreign capital and KBI Black Sea Copper Operations Company share a very large portion of the Turkish mining production outside of mineral fuels and iron ore mining.

The majority of iron ore mining is owned by Turkish Iron and Steel Corporation. In 1957 Turkish Coal Enterprise was established which took over all of the Etibank owned coal operations. In 1984 Turkish Hard Coal Enterprise was established to operate the Zonguldak coal fields and other hardcoal deposits. Other major state corporations in mining are TPAO, Turkish Petroleum Corporation which also produces natural gas, TUPRAŞ Turkish Petroleum Rafineries Corporation, CITOSAN, Cement and Earth Products Corporation which is privatized on a large scale.

Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources (Turkey)

The Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources (Enerji ve Tabii Kaynaklar Bakanlığı) is a government ministry office of the Republic of Turkey , responsible for natural resources related affairs and energy in Turkey. Ministry vision is providing the highest contribution to national welfare by utilizing energy and natural resources in the most efficient and environmentally-conscious manner. A reliable future in energy and natural resources.

Eti Mine Works (ETIBANK)

Eti Mine Works (Eti Maden İşletmeleri Genel Müdürlüğü) is a Turkish state-owned mining and chemicals company focusing on boron products. It holds a government monopoly on the mining of borate minerals in Turkey, which possesses 72 % of the world’s known deposits. In 2018, it held a 47% share of global production of borate minerals, ahead of its main competitor, Rio Tinto Group, which held 23 %. In 2012, it was the forty-first largest industrial company in Turkey, with an annual revenue of $ 850 million.

It was founded in 1935 as Etibank, a bank created to finance Turkish natural resource extraction; in 1993, the company’s banking activities were privatized and its mining activities separated under the name Eti Holding AŞ In 2004, the company was restructured again and named Eti Mine Works. Its subsidiaries include AB Etiproducts OY, a Finland-based company which distributes Eti Mine Works products in Scandinavia, Eastern Europe, Russia, Central Asia, and Africa.

In 1982, Ab Etiproducts was established by Finnish mining multimetal Outokumpu group and Etibank. In 1993 Outokumpu’s share was transferred to Etimine SA, sister company of Ab Etiproducts Oy, responsible for the marketing of Turkish boron products in western Europe. In 2005, Ab Etiproducts Oy established a subsidiary company Etiproducts Inc. in Russia.

The company presently operates in Scandinavia (Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland and Norway), the Baltic states (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania), Poland, Russia, Kazakhstan and other CIS countries. Stock is located in the Baltic and Black Sea Region regions. The subsidiary company Etiproducts Llc has stockplace in Azov, Russia. Ab Etiproducts Oy controls international sales and distribution of boron products in Finland, Sweden, Iceland, Norway, Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Russia, Estonia, Kazakhstan and other CIS countries.

Turkish Hard Coal Enterprises (TTK)

Turkish Hard Coal Enterprises (Türkiye Taşkömürü Kurumu Genel Müdürlüğü) is the heavily subsidized state owned enterprise which has a virtual monopoly in mining, processing and distribution, including importing, of hard oal in Turkey. According to 21st century data up to 2019 Armutcuk, Karadon and Uzulmez were more hazardous than Amasra and Kozlu mines. Although coal mining accidents in Turkey decreased considerably after the government introduced tougher safety measures in the mid-2010s, the relative danger compared to other occupations since then is not publicly known, as the government restricted access to workplace death statistics.

Turkish Coal Enterprise (TKI)

The Turkish Coal Enterprise TKI (Türkiye Kömür İşletmeleri Genel Müdürlüğü, TKİ) is the state owned enterprise which mines lignite coal in Turkey. Turkey is the third-largest lignite producer in the world, with 7 % of total production. TKI’s annual capital expenditure was ₺198 million (US$ 57 million) per year between 2016–2017 and the largest lignite mine in Turkey is Afşin-Elbistan. TKİ had been profitable but made losses in 2016 and 2017. In 2018 TKI mined 30 Mt of which 16 Mt was open pit and 14 Mt underground: and in the same year 20 Mt was sold, 12.6 Mt to power plants and 7.4 Mt to industry and households. Ventilation air from some minesi such as Soma Eynez, contains significant methane and so in 2019 studies were being done on how to capture it. TKI is on the Global Coal Exit List compiled by the NGO urgewald (in Germany).

Electricity Generation Company (Turkey)

The Electricity Generation Company (Elektrik Üretim AŞ; EÜAŞ) is the largest electric power company in Turkey. Owned by the government, it produces and trades electric throughout the country. EÜAŞ was founded by the government in 2001. Its main purpose was to plan and implement the energy policy of Turkey which, through the exploitation of the domestic products and resources, would distribute cheap electric power to all Turkish citizens. In 2018 it took over the state-owned electricity trading firm TETAŞ.

As of 2019 EUAŞ owns almost a fifth of Turkey’s total generating capacity[ including coal, gas, hydro and wind power stations. As of 2020 EUAŞ owns most of the country’s lignite in 7 coalfields, including the largest Elbistan. As it owns the old Can-1 and Afşin-Elbistan B power stations and buys from private sector lignite-fired plants its coal-fired electricity is highly polluting. In 2010 its coal-fired plants were responsible for over 50 thousand years of lost life and over a million working days lost. Çan-2 coal-fired power station opened in 2018 and EÜAŞ guaranteed 7 years of electricity purchases at a cost of between 64 and 70m USD per year.

EÜAŞ (with state-owned gas and oil company BOTAS) is an oligopoly and sets a soft cap on electricity spot prices; whereas prices to end consumers are regulated. In 2018 EÜAŞ lost 1.8 billion lira. Support for cola in Turkey resulting from annual expenditures of EÜAȘ in primary materials and supplies is estimated at ₺953 million (US$272 million) per year (2016–2017 average).

General Directorate of Mineral Research and Exploration MTA (Turkey)

General Directorate of the Mineral Research & Explorationof Turkey (Maden Tetkik ve Arama Genel Müdürlüğü, commonly known as MTA) is a scientific institution established by Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources 1935.

MTA conducts geological and geophysical surveys all around Turkey in order to explore natural resources, like ore deposits and energy raw materials. The institution has 6 divisions with many different analysis labs, 12 district offices and one training facility for geologists and geophysical engineers in Ankara. Apart from focusing on fieldwork for mining research, MTA also has remote sensing facilities since 1975. Remote sensing unit operates under MTA Geophysics Research Division and TUBITAK has a cooperation since early 1970s.

MTA publishes Bulletin of the Mineral Research and Exploration twice a year since 1936. Papers are published in English and Turkish since 1950 and distributed worldwide.

Turkish Petroleum Corporation

Türkiye Petrolleri Anonim Ortaklığı (TPAO) was founded in 1954 by Law No. 6327 with the responsibility of being involved in hydrocarbon exploration, drilling, production, refinery and marketing activities as Turkey’s national company. Being an important actor of the national economy, TPAO achieved many “firsts” of the Turkish oil industry. The company, its history reaching back over a half century, has given rise to seventeen major companies, including Petkim, Tupras and POAŞ to Turkey.

Until 1983, as an integrated oil company, it was engaged in all the activity fields of oil industry from exploration to production, refinery, marketing and transportation. Today, TPAO is a national oil company involved in merely upstream (exploration, drilling, well completion and production) sector.

In order to provide the necessary mineral resources for the scientific and technological development of the country, the mining sector in Turkey is rapidly expanding. In fact, this sector plays a crucial role in the social and economical growth of the country, as it ensured about 3% of the total exports value of the country in 2017. In fact, ranked 25th on the list of the global mineral resources producing countries in 2016, today, Turkey is one of the important mining forces worldwide. Several factors contributed to this achievment as the diversity and the wealth of the resources, the developed infrastructure, the disponibility of working force, the measures adopted by the government to support and empower the sector which attracted foreign investors and the geographical position of the country which played a crucial role in the transportation and shipping of the produced materials.

Aside from its significant share in the economy of the country, the mining sector constantly ensures the development of rural and regional areas near quarries, mines and processing facilities, significant employment opportunities and the prevention of internal migration. Experts predict that the mining sector will continue to grow in the next few years as its share in the eonomical and social development of the country will continue to increase. However, several studies highlight that reaching these goals requires a deeper understanding of the full mining potential of the country by conducting more intensive exploration studies on the existant and potential mineral resources to determine with precision the available reserves and their geochemical particularities. In addition, reducing the country’s dependency on energy imports is extremely crucial to ensure the growth of the mining sector in Turkey.

General Directorate of Mining and Petroleum Affairs 

General Directorate of Mining and Petroleum Affairs (Maden ve Petrol İşleri Genel Müdürlüğü, MAPEG) is a Turkish government agency which is responsible for the approval and regulation of mines. Its interest licensing, monitoring and controlling on mines in Turkey.

The reporting and documentation process of all the data provided during every stages of exploration should be carried out in the accredited labs in accordance with international standards by qualified technical staff, which is or great importance, in a global world and free market economy, for engineers, planners, miners, investors and finance organizations. National Resources and Reserves Reporting Committee (UMREK) was founded by amendment of Article 14 to the Mining Law 3213 by passing of the Law 6745 on the date of 2016. The working principles and procedures of the Committee was regulated by the “By-Law of the National Resources and Reserves Reporting Committee” which became effective on the date of 2017. As specified in the By-Law, the Committee consists of members from the General Directorate of Mining Affairs (MIGEM).

General Directorate laid down the foundations of the National Resources and Reserves Reporting Committee and consequently the “National Resources and Reserves Reporting Committee” shortly called UMREK, has been founded for reporting any mining exploration and operation activities in compliance with the international standards and ensuring such reports to be accurate and reliable, for which the supplementary to the Mining Law.

The National Boron Research Institute (BOREN)

The National Boron Research Institute (Ulusal Bor Araştırma Enstitüsü, BOREN) has been established by the Law No. 4865, dated 2003, in order to provide the required scientific environment for research of users in different fields, carry out, have others carry out, coordinate and contribute scientific research in cooperation with the public and private law legal persons using boron and its products and/or carrying out research in this field in order to ensure broad use of boron products and technologies and ensure production and development of new boron products. The duties and organization of BOREN, the related institution of the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources of Turkey, have been reorganized of the Presidential Decree No. 4, dated 2018.

BOREN conducts and supports projects and programs in the field of Boron by means of cooperation and coordination with the relevant public and private sector R&D and industrial organizations, conducts scientific publications and activities related to Boron and conducts activities for the commercialization of Boron products. 


Under the Turkish Constitution all mineral resources are under the jurisdiction of the State and under permission of law real or legal entities can engage in mining. Mining Law No: 3213 enacted in 1985 aims at minimising the formalities and expediting General Directorate of Mines’ Operations for the grantings, supervision as well cancellation of mining rights. Any real or legal person under Turkish law can apply for and obtain a permit to explore, develop and operate a mineral (an ore) deposit. The land area to be applied for an exploration permit is unlimited (except for marble which is 250 hectars and lake minerals which is 2000 hectars) and any of the minerals defined under the mining law may be explored and an application can be made after their discovery for development and subsequent exploitation.

The mining rights (titles) are granted in three consequitive phases, the first being an exploration licence for 30 months duration which may continue with second phase, the granting of a pre-operation licence of three years, which can not be extended. The title holder may extract and sell one tenth of the proven ore indicated in his periodic progress reports. The third phase is the operation licence and operation permission, which is granted at the same time as the granting of the operation licence. All ore deposits explored in an exploration area and documented in the application for an operating licence have to be operated in the order of their priority of operation at time intervals not exceeding five years for each ore deposit to be mined under the same mining title. This phase has a duration of ten years extandable up to sixty years.

In addition to payments of annual levies varying for each type of title, guarantees in cash has to be deposited at the Mining Fund per hectar of land which is doubled for each subsequent phase of the title, both to discourage the holding of large land and as a collateral for payment of fines imposed for failure to perform any of the undertakings required by law. Failure to refund within six months any deficit in the deposit is a cause for the cancellation of the mining title.

General Directorate of Mines is under the juristiction of the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources. During the past two decades there has been a heavy pressure on the government by the private mining sector to establish a Ministry of Mines to head all of the public departments and public corporations involved in mining. The tendency to adapt this policy has grown greatly during the recent months and all such departments and public corporations are under the juristiction of a Minister of State since the present government took over in July, 1996.

Studies are underway to modify some sections of the Mining Law No:3213 to diminish the red-tape and adapt the depletion allowance concept for the mining operations in order to make investing in mining more attractive. The geological and mineralogical character of ore occurances in Turkey would highly justify this policy where high investment expenditures will be required to develop lower grade large base metals deposits in the future.

After the modification of the Mining Law No:3213 it is anticipated that these above taxes will be replayed by a payment of royalty of 1 to 3 percent of the pit-head price of the run-of-mine output, same as it was under Law No:6309 replaced by the present Mining Law. In view of the mineral producers this will make the tax burden even heavier being a payment irrespective of whether mining operation is profitable or not.

Other taxes confined to Mining Operations are Municipalities Tax (2 %) if the mining Operations are withing boundaries of any municipality and taxes levied in favour of recipients of “Right of Discovery” and “Right of Notification” which are (2 %) and (1 %) of the taxable income respectively. The latter two taxes were enacted into Law No:3213 in order to compensate small miners who have contributed their services for the discovery of the relavant ore deposit.

In summary, the mining operations are taxed from ten to fifteen percent more on their gross profit made in mining operations in addition to payment of corporation tax (25 %) and income tax withholding (15 % of gross profit or 20 % of payable income) plus 10 percent each of the above taxes under the title of “Contribution to funds” which are a pool of funds to finance the state subsidies. Value added tax on minerals and other industrial products is (1997) fifteen percent of the invoiced price. All exports are exempt from the payment of value added tax.

Investment incentives

All companies established in Turkey under Turkish Commercila Code, whether fully owned by domestic or foreign capital enjoy the same priviliges of investment incentives, which is granted upon application to undertake the implementation of a fixed investment project for production or rendering of services.

Mining projects enjoy the same privileges as projects in other sectors, which are exemption of payment of custom’s duties and levies for imported equipment, deferment of value added tax against letters of guarantee on imported goods which is redeemed during the commercial operation. A rebate or compensation of 25 percent of invoice value of locally procured equipment, (15 percent for the compensation of the value added tax paid plus ten percent premium to subsidize purchase of domestic machinery and equipment), a discount, from corporation tax principal or gross profit in the amount from 70 to 100 percent of fixed capital invested for the project and exemption from the payment of stamp taxes, duties and other levies imposed on loan agreements if exports from 5 to 20 percent of envisaged production are guaranteed. A certain percentage of exports revenue is profit tax deductable.

Mining licences

Only Turkish citizens and the companies established under Turkish laws specifically for mining purposes are entitled to hold mining rights. Foreign capital companies established in Turkey for mining purposes are entitled to hold mining rights as they are deemed Turkish companies.

The Mining Law categorises minerals in five groups:

– sand and gravel;

-marble and other similar decorative stones;

-salts in solution form that can be obtained from sea, lake and spring waters;

-energy, metal and industrial minerals; and

-precious metals and gem stones.

The General Directorate of Mining Affairs (MAPEG), a unit of the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources, is the authorised body to regulate the mining activities and issue mining licences.

Exploration Licence/Certificate

The first step to engage in mining activities is to apply for an exploration licence or certificate (the licence issued for the fifth group is named “certificate” in the legislation). The right of priority in the application process is based upon the date of application. The term of an exploration licence is three years; however, this period may be extended for some minerals for an additional two years.

Operation Licence

Before the end of the exploration licence period, the licence holder must apply for an operation licence. The term of an operation licence for first group minerals may not be less than five years and for other groups may not be less than ten years, whereas the term of an operation certificate (issued for the fifth group) may not be less than five years. The term of an operation licence/certificate may be extended. However, the period of the licence may not exceed 60 years starting from the date of licence. Only the Council of Ministers is authorised to extend the term after the end of 60 years. Operation Permit. In addition to an operation licence, an operation permit is required to start production activities. Separate operation permits are required for different types of minerals within the same area covered by one operation licence. An operation licence covers the area in which the mining activities will be conducted and provides the legal right to use the licensed area whereas the operation permit gives the licence-holder the right to operate the mine. The duration of the operation permit is limited to the duration of the operation licence.

Transfer of mining rights

A mining licence may be transferred to those qualified under the Mining Law and the transfer must be registered at the MAPEG. Parties may also execute a royalty agreement rather than transferring the licence. Under a royalty agreement, the holder of the mining licence grants the right of operation of the mine to the operator for a certain period in exchange for a royalty payment. However, such agreement does not result in the legal transfer of the mining licence. After the amendment made in 2005, registration of a royalty agreement at the mining registry is no longer possible. Accordingly, unlike the practice in the past, the royalty agreement shall operate to bind its parties contractually. Such a contract does not form a part of the official record at the MAPEG. Accordingly, third parties can no longer rely on the assumption that royalty agreements would be a part of the official record. Upon termination, expiration or abandonment of a mineral licence, all assets will be transferred to the State; the licence area will be automatically opened to new activities and the licence will be tendered through public auction.

Exclusivity of Turkish courts

Any matter related to the operation of mines is within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Turkish courts. Contractual obligations of the parties not related to the mining rights may be freely determined by the parties in accordance with the principle of freedom of contract.

Engineer for record

The operation licence-holder must assign at least one mining engineer of minimum five years of experience as a technical supervisor to oversee the mine extraction activities. Companies employing at least 30 workers or companies employing at least 15 workers and operating an underground mine, are obliged to employ a permanent technical supervisor.

Duties and security deposits

In order to guarantee the license holder’s obligations arising from the license and for services provided by the MAPEG, the license holders are required to provide a security deposit and annual duty for each license. The amount is determined annually by the Ministry of Finance.

Surface rights

The ownership of mineral rights does not cover the ownership of the immovable properties where the mineral resources are located. Therefore, it is necessary to create a usufruct or easement right over the mineral exploration area in order to carry out any mining activities. Other legal options to utilise privately-owned lands are purchasing, leasing and, if no other option is available, having the land expropriated. The legal options to use State-owned land are purchasing, leasing and establishing a usufruct right. Mining operations to be conducted on State-owned land are not subject to any payment for usage of such land. In this case, the royalty will be levied by an additional 30 % of the royalty.

In order to simplify the permitting process, a regulation has been issued to govern the permitting process specifically for mining activities. Under this regulation, the MAPEG, in addition to other relevant authorised bodies, is authorised to follow the applications regarding the permits required for mining. Such requirements include a range of social and environmental studies and permits covering, for example, forests, pastures, water resources, and impacts on communities.

Under Turkish Mining Law No. 3213 (Law), as amended by Laws No. 5177 and 5995 respectively, in order to perform operational activities on a particular mine, the person or persons, who are willing to carry out such activities subsequent to the exploration phase, are, by virtue of law, required to obtain an operation license (maden işletme ruhsatı). In this regard, the mine operation license is defined as “the authorization certificate given for the purpose of conducting operational activities” by the Article 3 of the Law.

Considering both the purpose and the wording of the Law along with its secondary legislation (Madencilik Faaliyetleri Uygulama Yönetmeliği) in place, it could be pointed out that the mine operation license not only grants an authorization as such, but also constitutes a “right” (hak) for the licence holder. In other words, mine operation license truly embodies what is precisely meant by the “mining rights” (maden hakkı). In addition to this, “license law” (ruhsat hukuku) is defined as “a combined set of rights and obligations of license-holders stemming from the license itself (irrespective of it being exploration or operation)”.


Mining is an extremely crucial sector that provides the necessary raw materials for several industries. The mining sector plays a significant part in the development and the socio-economical growth of any country as natural resources directly contribute to its value-added and increasing its employment rate. Our country is characterized by the wealth and the diversity of its mineral reserves. Therefore, empowering the production ensures the economic and technological development of the country by creating employment opportunities and meeting the needs in raw materials of several sectors.

Although Turkey has a very wide variety of minerals, the mineral wealth has only been partially explored and known reserves have been developed to the limited extent. This situation may be an advantage for the country because the country’s mineral potential could be an important contributor to the wealth of the nation due to the better technologies in the future.

The main strategy of mining industry should be to encourage exploration and exploitation activities in the sector to provide necessary low cost and high quality raw materials demanded by domestic industrial sectors and to increase the competitiveness of the economy. However, it is impossible to execute mining activities by ignoring the environmental sensibilities in the era that we are living in. Using environmental friendly technology and methods, taking necessary precautions directed to protect and renew the environment should be the minimum necessities in all the mining processes in the sector.

In spite of its long history of mining and the large potential of mineral resources, mining shared only about 0.8 percent of Turkey’s gross national product in 1907-1913 and has not shared more than 2.5 percent in the past decades because of the lack of capital invsetment available for mining both as public and private funds. In the long past, Turkey’s mining has been confined to a few minerals and metals such as chromite, copper, lead, salt and pandermite (Boron) that could be easily exported; however during the past decades the number of ores and minerals discovered and mined in Turkey has risen sharply to be over fifty.

The share of primary mining in Turkey’s total fixed capital investment during the past twenty years has varied between 1.60-5.25 percent, average for the period being about 2.66 percent. Because of the gradually decreasing rate of fixed investment in primary mining during the past twenty years, the average annual growth rate of mining has lagged behind the manufacturing industry and of the overall economy, the average growth rates from 2000 to 2019 being 2.85 % for mining, 5.81 % for manufacturing industry and 4.87 % for all Turkey.

The lack of capital investment in mining has to some extent been ofset by heavy flow of funds from the public sector which has represented about 80 % of total investment in the sector until 1994; however from 1994 to 1997 private capital’s share in investment in mining has averaged to be more than seventy percent, partly because of government’s privatization policies and encouragement of foreign and local private capital investment in mining.

In Turkish official data on gross domestic product the industry is sub-divided into mining, manufacturing industry and energy. The assessment of mining in Turkey’s economy can be made better when mineral based manufacturing industry such as mineral chemicals, phosphate fertilizers, cement, clay products, ceramics, glass, ferrous and non-ferrous metals and energy are considered together with primary mining.

Such an appraisal indicates that Turkey’s both primary mining and value added (secondary) mining sectors can be defined as self sufficient excluding oil, natural gas and gold, because Turkey has very low known reserves of these natural resources.

Turkey, same as its middle east neighbours has been a large amount importer of gold bullion for decades. During the past six decades it is generally accepted that more than 2500 tons of gold bullion may have been imported into Turkey.

Published official data indicates that after 1985 the gradual liberalization of gold bullion imports into Turkey has resulted in an outflow of hard currency payments of more than nine billion U.S. dollars for gold. During the same period the value of crude oil imports into Turkey has totaled over twenty billion U.S. dollars.

Turkey has always been an importer of crude oil to which natural gas has been added during the past decade. Other minerals and mineral based commodities imported in large valumes are metalurgical coal, iron ore, phospate rock, sulphur and their products. The sharp rise in Turkey’s exports during the past fifteen years has lowered the very high ratio of oil imports value as a percentage of Turkish exports.

In order to provide the necessary mineral resources for the scientific and technological development of the country, the mining sector in Turkey is rapidly expanding. In fact, this sector plays a crucial role in the social and economical growth of the country, as it ensured about 3% of the total exports value of the country in 2017. In fact, ranked 25th on the list of the global mineral resources producing countries in 2016, today, Turkey is one of the important mining forces worldwide. Several factors contributed to this achievment as the diversity and the wealth of the resources, the developed infrastructure, the disponibility of working force, the measures adopted by the government to support and empower the sector which attracted foreign investors and the geographical position of the country which played a crucial role in the transportation and shipping of the produced materials.

Aside from its significant share in the economy of the country, the mining sector constantly ensures the development of rural and regional areas near quarries, mines and processing facilities, significant employment opportunities and the prevention of internal migration.

Experts predict that the mining sector will continue to grow in the next few years as its share in the eonomical and social development of the country will continue to increase. However, several studies highlight that reaching these goals requires a deeper understanding of the full mining potential of the country by conducting more intensive exploration studies on the existant and potential mineral resources to determine with precision the available reserves and their geochemical particularities. In addition, reducing the country’s dependency on energy imports is extremely crucial to ensure the growth of the mining sector in Turkey.


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USTAÖMER, T. ve ROBERTSON, A. (1997) Kuzey Tethyan marjının Kuzey Tethyan marjının tektonik-tortul evrimi. In: A.G. Robinson (Editör), Karadeniz ve Çevresi Bölgesel ve Petrol Jeolojisi. AAPG Anı, 68, Tulsa, Oklahoma, 255-290.

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