Turkey’s mining sector has grown in parallel with the country’s robust economy. The sector’s total production value soared to USD 12 billion in 2012, up from USD 2.6 billion in 2003.
With its location in the Tethyan-Eurasian Metallogenic Belt, one specific kind of ophiolite extending from the western Mediterranean via the Alps to southeastern Europe through Turkey, the Lesser Caucasus, Iran, and the Himalayas to China, Turkey harbors much proven potential for mining investors. As the least explored portion of the belt, Turkey stands out as a very promising region for miners and explorers. In addition, as mining in Turkey has been limited to surface excavations, huge potential with deep drilling is awaiting international investors.
Turkey’s young, dynamic and well-educated labor force offers a high-quality labor pool. There are 21 mining engineering departments in 19 cities in Turkey, while five new mining engineering departments have been opened since 2005. The number of mining engineers in Turkey increased by more than 50 per cent since 2005, reaching 16,000.
Turkey’s advantages for the players in the mining sector are not limited to a high-quality labor pool, but also include relatively low logistics and drilling costs, proximity to major markets, lucrative government incentives and highly competitive taxes.
As a result of its remarkable economic growth, years of political stability, structural reforms, along with the backing of governmental bodies, Turkey attracted USD 250 million of FDI to its mining industry in 2013, whereas between 2008 — the year of the economic downturn — and 2012, FDI inflows in the mining sector stood at around USD 148 million.
These figures prove investors’ increased interest in Turkey, as today Turkey hosts more than 700 international mining companies, up from only 138 in 2004.
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