Following the announcement by ministry officials concerning the license cancelation of Canadian-based intermediate gold producer Alamos Gold, the general manager of Doğu Biga, a local company established by the producer, has announced that Alamos Gold has a license of 60 years and is determined to fulfill its commitment made to the Turkish government to extract the underground mine in Kaz Mountains.
Alamos Gold is not going anywhere; it has a license for 60 years, and the underground mine will be extracted as promised to Turkey, Ahmet Şentürk said.
Speaking to daily Hürriyet, Şentürk said that a report, prepared by the General Directorate of Mining and Petroleum Affairs (MAPEG), stating that the extension of the company’s mining license was appropriate was sent to the ministry about one and a half years ago and that they have been waiting for the approval since then.
Alamos Gold, which has bought a site in Turkey’s northwestern province of Çanakkale, faced strong resistance from locals and activists in 2019 due to the construction of a cyanide gold mine in a densely forested area, known as the Kaz Mountains.
Noting that there is an underground resource of $4 billion worth in the Kirazlı field in the Kaz Mountains, Şentürk said that 50 percent of the revenue generated would go to costs, and 70 or 80 percent of these costs would be spent on consumables supplied from Turkey.
“We made a direct investment of $140 million and indirectly $240 million in Turkey. We will spend another $160 million for construction [projects] in Kirazlı. We paid 54 million Turkish Liras ($7.1 million) to the Forestry Ministry for cutting down the trees [in the region],” Şentürk said, adding that the main investment expense was for searching and finding gold.
“Roughly 20-25 percent of the $4 billion worth of gold will go to the state. The rest is our company’s profit,” he said, stressing that the purchase priority of the gold extracted belongs to the Central Bank, and if the bank does not buy it, then the gold will be sold to the domestic market in Turkey.
“We are not going anywhere. We have made a commitment to the Republic of Turkey,” Şentürk said.
Providing information about the operation period, Şentürk emphasized that the construction and operation process would be completed in seven to nine years and that the forest land where trees were cut would be rehabilitated and restored, aiming to make it “better than before.”
Stating that mining licenses were given in 10-year periods in Turkey and the company’s first 10-year license expired in 2019, Şentürk emphasized that they applied to MAPEG a month before the expiration date, and the ministry has not approved their application yet.
Hurriyet Daily News