Turkey needs to allocate nearly $10 billion venture capital for exploration and development activities in discovering about 4,700 tonnes of potential gold resources, Mehmet Yilmaz, president of the Turkish Gold Miners Association told Anadolu Agency on Saturday.
"According to Professor Ayhan Erler's modeling study in 1991, there is a potential reserve of about 6,500 tonnes of gold in Turkey," Yilmaz said.
Reminding Erler's earlier remarks about the possibility of deposits reaching up to 100 tonnes of gold reserves in Turkey, Yilmaz said Erler's suggestions proved right with the discovery of the Kisladag Gold Mine located in Turkey's western province of Usak.
"According to this [Erler's] study, we have the second-largest gold reserves after South Africa," he stressed.
We only were able to produce 382 tonnes of this reserve so far, however, 1,500 tonnes of gold are appraised as a reserve, considering the current gold prices, according to Yilmaz.
He said that nearly $10 billion of venture capital is imperative for identifying the remaining 4,700 tonnes of potential gold resources.
In Turkey, 18 gold mines are currently in operation, while 20 new gold mine projects are awaiting investment.
Turkey started gold production in 2001 with a modest 1.4 tonnes, but over the past 20 years, 382 tonnes of gold was produced, which helped Turkey obtain tax revenues equivalent to 76 tonnes of gold.
Turkish gold production by the end of 2021 is estimated to surpass the record high level in the history of the Turkish Republic last year. Production in 2020 peaked at 42 tonnes but is estimated to reach a volume of at least 45 tonnes by the year-end.
Turkey to date has invested $6 billion in the gold sector, which currently employs 13,200.¶
Yilmaz projects the production gradually will reach more than 50 tonnes in the coming years.¶
By Ebru Sengul Cevrioglu