Turkey’s mining and metals sector has grown in parallel with the country’s robust economy. Harboring a large expanse of the western portion of the Tethyan-Eurasian Metallogenic Belt, which is an ophiolite extending from the Alps to southeastern Europe through Turkey, the Lesser Caucasus, Iran, and the Himalayas on to China, Turkey offers proven potential for mining investors. As the least exploited portion of the belt, Turkey stands out as a very promising region for companies engaged in mineral extraction. Mining in Turkey has mainly been limited to surface excavations, meaning huge potential with deep drilling is awaiting international investors.
Here are some essential facts and figures about the Turkish mining and metals sector:
- The sector’s total production value soared to USD 13.2 billion in 2014, up from USD 2.6 billion in 2003.
- Turkey’s young, dynamic, and well-educated labor force offers a high-quality labor pool.
- There are 30 mining engineering departments in 26 cities in Turkey, while five new mining engineering departments have been opened since 2005. The number of mining engineers in Turkey has increased by more than 50 percent since 2005, now reaching 30,000.
- Turkey’s advantages for 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, and the backing of governmental bodies, Turkey attracted USD 201 million of FDI to its mining industry in 2015, while mining exports in the sector totaled USD 3.9 billion.
- These figures prove investors’ increased interest in Turkey, as today Turkey hosts more than 750 international mining companies, up from only 138 in 2004.
Turkey’s regional investment incentive system is based on a descending pattern where regions vary in a range of 1 to 6 based on their level of development, with 6 being given to the least developed regions. With this system, the most advantageous incentives are offered to the lesser-developed regions. Mining is one exception to this scheme, as most investments in the mining sector are supported with incentives extended to Region 5, regardless of the investment’s location.