BMI View: Turkey's mining industry is set to be on the radar of foreign investors in the years to come as the government has undertaken efforts to open up the sector , paving the way for forthcoming investment. The gold sector will attract the largest share of investment as several companies bring their projects into production. Nevertheless, Turkey's extremely poor mining safety record and weak global commodity prices will limit the industry's otherwise healthy growth.
We believe investment into Turkey's mining sector will be forthcoming over the coming years as Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan pledged to transform the country into one of the 10 biggest economies by 2023. With more than 50 different minerals found in economically adequate quantities, Turkey ranked 10 th in the world for the mineral variety of its underground resources.
While approximately 85% of the mining operations were controlled by the state 15 years ago, we believe this is set to change in the years ahead as the government undertakes considerable efforts to liberalise its economy and encourage capital inflows into the mining space. For instance, the reformed mining code of 2010 involves the introduction of a three-step exploration period (ranging from pre-exploration, general exploration to detailed exploration), a tightening of work safety requirements as well as reducing the regulatory powers previously held by the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resource. We expect the gold mining sector to receive the largest share of investment as several companies bring their plays into production. These include Eldorado Gold, Centerra Gold, Alacer Gold and Stratex International.
Poor Safety Record & Weak Commodity Prices Present Major Risks
The tragedy that took place at a mine in Soma in May 2014, in which 301 people lost their lives, is symptomatic of Turkey's extremely poor mining safety record. Turkey ranks lower even than the majority of African countries in terms of injuries and deaths per annum in the mining sector. For the mining industry in Turkey to have a viable future, much more stringent safety regulation and training will be essential.
Another major threat to our forecasts for solid growth in Turkey's mining sector will be weakness in global commodity prices. The gold sector will be particularly affected by weaker profit margins as we forecast gold prices to average USD1,170/oz over 2014-2018, significantly lower than their 2012 average of USD1,669/oz.
|Turkey - Mining Industry Value & Growth|
Global Leader In Boron & Marble
Turkey is home to 866kt (thousand tonnes) of borix oxide reserves that, according to estimates from state-owned Eti Maden, constitutes 72% of global reserves. The global boron mining industry is very small. Eti Maden, together with Rio Tinto's US Borax, are already responsible for nearly 75% of total global boron production.
Turkey's natural stone mining sector is also globally competitive. There are about 1,500 natural stone quarries in the country, which supply 2,000 factories, 9,000 workshops and employs around 300,000 people. Of the country's estimated 5.2bnt (billion tonnes) of natural stone reserves, marble constitutes 3.8bnt of the total. According to the country's Export Promotion Center's (IGEME) Natural Stone Report, most of the country's reserves are located in the provinces of Afyon, Balikesir, Mugla, Eskisehir, Denizli, Tokat, Canakkale, Konya, Bilecik, Kirsehir and Elazig.