Turkey mining: B is for Boron

Turkey holds 73% of global boron reserves, its most significant industrial mineral.

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Sector Overview

Turkey ranks 28th in global mining production and is 10th in the world in terms of variety of underground resources. The country possesses 2.5% of global industrial mineral reserves and 0.4% of world's metallic mineral reserves. It has large amounts of marble and natural stones, boron minerals, chrome, feldspar, pumice, bentonite, perlite, calcite and trona reserves. Turkey holds 73% of global boron reserves, its most significant industrial mineral.

Entry Modes

All minerals are owned by the state, which may transfer the right to explore and operate the mines for a specific period of time against payment of royalties in compliance with all relevant licensing requirements. The government plans to continue the privatisation process and attract private investors to develop new, and expand existing, lignite fields in line with its long-term strategy of reducing Turkey’s dependence on imported energy resources. The country still has a limited processing capacity, so it seeks to add more value at the end of the mining value chain by introducing various incentives for the private sector.

Segment Opportunities

Turkey aims to increase the usage of local lignite coal in electricity generation in order to improve its foreign trade energy imbalances. The government targets an increase of electricity generation from domestic coal from 32.9bn kWh in 2013 to 60bn kWh/year by 2019, and is implementing a privatisation programme for state lignite coal-fired power plants in line with the plan. The Turkish authorities took over the management of mining and media group Koza Ipek due to links with U.S.-based Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen and its iron ore and gold mining operations most likely will be put up for sale.

Government Policy

In 2012 the government introduced a number of investment incentives to the industry. Mining was defined as a strategic sector and became one of the industries in which investors enjoy the highest number of benefits, including corporate tax reduction, value added tax and customs duty exemptions, and interest rate and social payment support. In February 2015, the government adopted amendments to the Mining Law, which increased costs related to holding exploration licences and their expenditure commitments in order ensure better and more serious exploration in the long run. The new amendments, however, failed to offer a solution to long-standing problems with the high value of use and sale of forest lands.