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Türkiye’s gold reserves: Potential, production goals and economic value

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According to Mehmet Yılmaz, head of the Miners’ Association of Türkiye (TMD), Türkiye possesses untapped gold reserves valued at approximately $300 billion. Yılmaz stated that the country’s potential gold reserves amount to about 6,500 tons, with 1,500 tons already identified and extraction underway. The remaining 5,000 tons remain underground.

Türkiye’s gold mining industry currently has an annual production capacity of 35,000 tons, while the country imports between 160 to 170 tons of gold annually. In 2023, gold imports amounted to $31 billion, contrasting with $12 billion generated from gold exports.

Yılmaz outlined the industry’s ambitions to increase gold production to 50,000 tons in the short term and ultimately to 100,000 tons. Gold plays a significant role in Türkiye’s foreign and current account deficits. Excluding gold and energy imports, the April 2024 current account balance showed a net deficit of $497 million, as reported by the Central Bank.

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The total worth of Türkiye’s mining reserves, encompassing gold, nickel, thorium, boron, coal, and trona, is estimated at $3.5 trillion, according to Yılmaz. He emphasized the necessity for an independent oversight mechanism in the mining sector and stressed the establishment of definitive inspection standards.

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