Today Turkey ranks tenth in the world in terms of the diversity of minerals produced in the country. Around 60 different minerals are currently produced in Turkey. The richest mineral deposits in the country are boron salts, and Turkey’s reserves amount to 72% of the world’s total. Other important minerals mined in Turkey are perlite, pumice, feldspar, bentonite, barite, magnesite, sodium sulphate, rock salt, gypsum, trona, strontium salts, zeolite, meerschaum, marble and natural stones, quartz, quartzite, bauxite, corundum and lignite.
Each year Turkey produces almost 150 million tons of minerals worth approximately 7 billion YTL. Turkey’s leading exports of mining products are marble and natural stones followed by boron and its derivatives. Minerals such as chromium, magnesite, feldspar, gypsum, pumice, bentonite and kaolin are also exported. On the other hand, Turkey’s leading imports in the mining sector continue to be dominated by crude oil, natural gas, lignite, iron ore and raw materials used in fertilizer production. Industries based on mining products have flourished in Turkey in line with the developments in the mining sector. Turkey is among the world’s and Europe’s leading producer in a number of industries such as glass, ceramics, cement, marble, iron and steel, gypsum, aluminum, ferrochromium, fertilizer, paper pulp, brick and tile, and prefabricated construction elements. Gold and silver processing has substantially developed in recent years and has reached considerable levels in exports.
Coal: Coal reserves in Turkey total 1.2 billion tons, 72% of which are in the form of coke. The average annual coal production is between 2.5 and 3 million tons.
Lignite: There are lignite deposits almost throughout the country. Kahramanmaraş-Elbistan, Muğla-Yatağan, Manisa-Soma, Kütahya-Tunçbilek-Seyitömer, Ankara- Beypazarı and Sivas-Kangal basins constitute the most important lignite reserves in Turkey. Total lignite reserves amount to 9.3 billion tons and the annual production is nearly 54 million tons. Turkey ranks seventh in the world in terms of the extent of its lignite reserves and sixth in terms of the volume of production.
Chromium: Turkey is one of the leading countries regarding production and exports of chromium ore. Production varies according to demand from world markets. In recent years, production reached 1-1.5 million tons/year as a result of price increase. Turkey’s chromium reserves are one of the biggest in the world, with a total of 26 million tons.
Boron: Turkey has almost 72% of the world’s boron potential with a total boron reserves of 3,066 million tons, in the form of B2O3 (24.4% to 35% in the ore). Boron mining operations in Bursa-Kestelek, Balıkesir-Bigadiç, Kütahya-Emet and Eskişehir-Kırka produce nearly 3 million tons of boron ore each year. Boron ores and derivatives constitute one of the major exports of mining products. Exports of pure boron ores and products in 2007 totaled 383,671 million USD. Of these exports, 247 million 641 thousand USD were for boron chemicals, 54 million 30 thousand USD were for concentrated boron and 82 million USD were for ground boron.
Aluminum: Turkey’s bauxite reserves suitable for aluminum production are about 87 million tons. These deposits are located in Konya-Seydişehir, Antalya-Akseki, Mersin-Silifke-Taşucu and Zonguldak-Kokaksu. Besides aluminium pro-duction, bauxite has been increasingly used in recent years in cement production.
Iron: The total amount of producable iron reserves in Turkey is around 113 million tons and problematic iron reserves are around 1 billion tons. Ranking 11th in the world in producing raw steel, Turkey imports 14 to 15 million tons of scrap iron each year by paying 4.5-5 billion USD, for melting in electric arc furnaces.
Copper: Turkey’s copper reserves total 1.5 million tons in terms of metal content. However, when low-grade deposits which are not being exploited for economic reasons are added, this figure rises to 3.5 million tons. Each year 60,000 tons of copper metal equivalent and 350,000 tons of run-of-mine concentrate are produced.
Lead and Zinc: There are 860,000 tons of lead reserves and 2.3 million tons of zinc reserves in Turkey in terms of metal content. The Rize-Çayeli copper-zinc deposits have almost 35% of the total zinc reserves in the country. Around 60,000 tons of zinc and 35,000 tons of lead are consumed in Turkey each year.
Gold: Exploitable gold reserves in Turkey, dispersed in nine different areas, amount to 338 tons of gold. The single operational mine is located in Western Turkey at İzmir-Bergama-Ovacık. Other low-grade reserves are also suitable for mining. Turkey imports 200 tons of gold every year and exports most of it as jewellery. Turkey is the nominee for being the leading country in jewellery.
Gypsum: Turkey has huge gypsum potential and the total amount of reserves has not been determined yet. In addition to gypsum processing plants and cement factories, an enormous fertilizer manufacturing facility using gypsum as input has been set up. The annual run-of-mine production is approximately 3 million tons. A constantly developing sector, gypsum mining has also begun to attract foreign investments. Gypsum exports have risen to sixth place regarding total exports in the mining sector. Exports in 2007 were 69.95 million USD.
Marble and Natural Stones: Rapidly developing since 1985, the marble and natural stone sector has registered an average annual growth rate twice the world average. There are over 150 marble deposits of different colors, design and quality in 80 districts. Turkey’s total marble reserves are estimated to reach approximately 5.1 billion cubic meters. This sub-sector took the lead in mineral exports in 2007 with a total value of 1.242 billion USD.
Geothermal Energy Sources: Turkey has an important geothermal energy potential
There are around one thousand natural hot water and mineral water resources. The geothermal capacity of the country is estimated to be nearly 31,500 MW. As a result of the works initiated by the General Directorate of Mineral Research and Exploration 45 years ago, the presence of 186 geothermal fields has been established. 94% of these resources are of low and medium temperature and are suitable for direct applications and 6% are suitable for indirect applications. The results of the drillings made in these fields have revealed heat energy of 3,350 MWt, which is approximately 10% of the heat potential of the country.
Nearly 30% of this heat energy is utilized in the heating of houses and thermal establishments, green-houses and thermal spa tourism. From the 15 fields that have sufficient potential for electricity generation, 112 MW has been converted into electricity.
As of the end of 2007, 600 MWt energy has been released and 13 new geothermal fileds have been discovered, 3 of which are high temperature, suitable for electricity pro-duction.
Clay and Kaolin: Turkey has 89 million tons of kaolin reserves and 354 million tons of ceramic and refractory clay reserves. Turkey is also the third biggest ceramics producer in Europe and the sixth biggest in the world. The total tile production capacity of the country’s facilities reaches 145 million square meters per annum.
Crude Oil and Natural Gas: The Petroleum Law of 1954 abolished the state monopoly in oil exploration and production
in Turkey and the same year, with the Law No. 6327, the Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO) was established. The target of this corporation, which provides 1.4% of the total gas requirement in the country is to meet most of Turkey’s oil and natural gas demand through domestic resources.
In 2007, 2.1 million tons of crude oil and 893 million cubic meters of natural gas were produced in the Country.
Continuing its explorations intensively in Thrace and the southeast as well as offshore, also in unexplored basins and regions, the TPAO performed a 2D seismic program of total 51 thousand kms and 10 thousand square kms in the surrounding seas, in the 2004 and 2007 period.
In the Mediterranean region, nearly 5,300 kms of seismic data were collected and this number is expected to be around 4 thousand kms in 2008. Also in 2008, it is planned to start drilling. After the Akçakoca-Çayağzı facilities started production, and by starting to operate the East Ayazlı Platform on September 19th, 2007, the amount of the natural gas processed in the Çayağzı Natural Gas in one day rose to around 950 thousand cubic meters. With the starting of production at the Ayazlı platform, where installation and commissioning programs are being continued, the production of natural gas from the seven wells present in the Black Sea is expected to rise to around 1.5-2 million metric tons.
While on average 20 drillings were made per annum between 2000 and 2002, the number of drillings were tripled for the last two years. As of the end of 2007, 74 wells were completed and 133,084 meters of drillings were completed. In the 2008 program, 71 wells and 159,050 meters of drillings are foreseen.
The annual drilling investement budget of the TPAO has increased to a record level of 417 million USD in 2008, whereas the annual average used to be around 50 million USD.
On the other hand the TPAO, by completing the provisional acceptance of the Silivri Natural Gas Storage Facilities, which is the first underground natural gas storage project in Turkey with a total capacity 1.6 billion cubic meters, has realized opening the Northern Marmara-Değirmenköy natural gas fields and the injection of around 10 million cubic meters of natural gas daily, provided by BOTAŞ.
While carrying out its activities in Turkey, TPAO has kept up with the rapidly changing world conjuncture in order to meet the country’s need for crude oil and natural gas from reliable sources and has engaged in the international oil business. Consequently, it has succeeded in becoming a shareholder in consortiums consisting of the oil giants of the world.
Today, the overseas production made by the TPAO is more than its domestic production. The TPAO is a shareholder in three significant projects in the Caspian Region, the scene of important developments due to its huge hydrocarbon reserves. These projects are, namely, Azeri-Çıralı-Güneşli
(ACG, 6.75% share), Shah Deniz (9%) and Alov (10%) in Azerbaijan. TPAO has also been continuing oil production in Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan, and surveying, drilling and production in the exploration blocks of Libya and Georgia. With these investments, as well as the 57,500 barrels of hydrocarbon coming from Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan, the daily production of the TPAO has reached nearly 94,000 barrels per day. The TPAO, having added a new block to its explorations in Libya, pursues all attractive exploration opportunities in the hydrocarbon fields of countries with high oil and natural gas potential such as Turkmenistan, Syria, Iraq, Egypt, Algeria, Ukraine, Russia, Georgia, the Sudan, Indonesia and Brazil.
The TPAO also has 6.53% and 9% shares of the Baku- Tbilisi-Ceyhan Crude Oil Pipeline (BTC) and the South Caucasian Natural Gas Pipeline (SCP) Projects, respectively, which are indispensable from strategic, economic and environmental stand points. The BTC project, aiming to transport the petrol produced in the Caspian region and especially by the ACG Project of Azerbaijan, to the world markets, came into operation on 28th May, 2008.
Aiming to meet Turkey’s oil and natural gas demand and to become a world-class energy company in its region, the TPAO has set its targets for meeting 35% and 50% of Turkey’s oil and natural gas consumption in 2010 and 2020, respectively.