Turkey’s gold extraction hits record with 29.5 tons worth $1.7 billion annually. Professionals say new investments in mining is boosting the sector
Turkey’s gold production increased to 29.5 tons in 2012 from e mere 1.4 tons 2002. Turkey produces 136 tons of gold in this period, as figures show.
Turkey broke its all-time gold extraction record in 2012 with 29.5 tons, generating $1.7 billion, according to Gold Miners Association Chairman Ümit Akdurb, coming at a time when the country has increased gold sales to the Islamic Republic of Iran, who faces hardships in cash transactions.
Gold production increased from a mere 1.4 tons in 2002, the sector representative told Anatolia news agency.
“Thus, the gradual increase shows us that gold production in Turkey grew to 136 tons from 2001 to 2012,” he said, adding that Turkey has invested $2 billion in gold mining in the last two decades. Some $630 million was spent on exploration and the remaining $1.4 billion allocated to mining facilities and management.
China tops production
Turkey imported a sum of $140 billion in gold between 1995 and 2012, according to Akdur. During the last 18 years, the country imported an annual average of 150 tons of gold, spending around $8 billion and his expectation for gold production in 2013 is 33 tons.
China produces the most gold with 351 tons of gold production followed by Australia with 258 tons and the U.S. with 232 tons.
Akdur also noted that nine gold mining companies were active in the country and in the following 10 years new business organizations would be opened, raising the number of active firms to more than 20.
“It takes 15 years to search for and discover new gold mines and also to produce [gold from] them,” he said.
Turkey is also among the leading gold consumers, with the precious metal being one of the most popular presents for special days such as marriages.
Turkey sold $6.5 billion worth of gold to Iran and another $4.2 billion worth to the United Arab Emirates in the first 11 months of 2012. Ankara is under severe pressure from its Western allies to reduce imports of natural gas from Iran, owing to Tehran’s disputed nuclear program.
On Nov. 30, the U.S. Senate unanimously approved new economic sanctions aimed at further crippling Iran’s energy, shipping and port sectors, a year after Congress passed tough restrictions against Tehran.