Turkey discovered 1.92 million ounces of gold reserves in the country's northwestern province of Bilecik, the Energy and Natural Resources Minister Fatih Donmez announced on Wednesday.
During the Justice and Development (AK) Party's 7th Ordinary Provincial Congress in Bilecik, Donmez said the new reserves are forecast to produce 6-7 tons of gold per year while offering employment to 800 people.
Turkey has, to date, invested $6 billion in the gold sector, currently employing 13,200.
Over the past 18 years, investments of nearly 4 billion Turkish liras (approx. $560 million) were realized in the Bilecik province with 392 million liras (around $55 million) invested in the first half of 2020 alone.
Turkey's gold production in 2020 reached the highest level in the history of the Republic of Turkey at 42 tonnes, contributing $2.4 billion to the economy.
Nonetheless, the country's gold imports showed a year-on-year 123% increase to $25.2 billion in 2020.
Reporting by Busra Nur Yilmaz, Deniz Acik
Writing by Ebru Sengul Cevrioglu