Turkey aims to surpass the record high level of gold production in the history of the Turkish republic that was made last year by the end of 2021, Mehmet Yılmaz, the chairperson of the Turkish Gold Miners Association, told Anadolu Agency (AA) Wednesday.
Production in 2020 peaked at 42 tons but is expected to reach a volume of 45 tons at least by year-end, Yılmaz said.
"We will achieve our goals with the support of the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources and by complying with the legislation. Recently, an objective has been set for the sector to produce 100 tons of gold in five years, and the industry will make every effort to achieve this goal," he said.
With imports of about $25 billion in gold last year, Yılmaz is seeking incentives for mineral exploration in Turkey to boost the number of operational mining sites to reduce imports.
If Turkey can produce gold on its land, the monetary equivalent in imports will remain in the country's economy. Local production could also offer more employment opportunities in the sector to boost employment from the current 13,000 to 20,000, he said.
"In line with this, our target is to increase the output to at least 45 tons by the end of 2021 and to create added value by ramping up production as much as possible. Hence, we intend to meet our objectives of producing 100 tons in the next five years if we get permission from the public for about 20 projects waiting in line," Yılmaz added.
Yılmaz commended Turkey’s gold mining industry, which produces gold at a quality that he says exceeds global standards and with sustainability and safety at the heart of its production process using a highly skilled workforce.
He advocated for prioritizing public and environmental concerns in the further development of this sector in Turkey. To this end, he said that reforestation in the area would be an important element after the completion of operations.
"The most important thing here is that we should assume an analytical environmentalist approach. We will both secure the environment and bring resources into our economy," Yılmaz concluded.
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