Turkey is a country rich in mineral deposits. Out of the 90 minerals that are traded in the world today only 13 have notbeen found in Turkey. About 60 different minerals are produced in the country. One of Turkeys richest mineral resources is boron and Turkey holds 63% of the worlds reserves. Besides boron, the following are minerals that are found in abundance in Turkey: prelate, pumice, feldspar, oncrete, barite, magnesite, sodiumsulphate, rock-salt, trona, trontium salts, zeolite, sepiolite, marble, quartzite, emery, bauxite, and lignite.
Approximately 7 billion tons of minerals worth 400 billion US dollars are produced in the world each year. Corresponding figures for Turkey are almost 150 million tons of minerals worth 2.2 billion US dollars. Turkeys leading exports are primarily boron salts followed by chromium, magnesite and marble. Crude oil and natural gas continue to be the most important products in the mining sector.
Turkeys coal reserves amount to 1.3 billion tons, with around 72% in the form of coke, a solid carbon residue. More than 2.5 million tons of coal are being produced annually.
There are lignite deposits in almost every region of Turkey. Afşin-Elbistan, Muğla, Soma, Tunçbilek, Seyitömer and the Beypazarı and Sivas basins constitute the most important lignite reserves. The countrys total lignite reserves are 8.4 billion tons and the annual production is around 65- 70 million tons. Turkey holds the seventh place in the world in terms of lignite reserves and the sixth in terms of production.
Turkey is one of the leading countries in the production and export of chromium ore. With its 40 million tons of chromium reserves, Turkey places fourth in the world. Approximately 1-1.5 million tons of chromium is produced in Turkey each year.
Turkey holds 63% of the worlds reserves with its 1.8 billion ton boron deposits. The boron mines in Bursa-Kestelek, Balıkesir-Bigadiç, Kütahya-Emet, and Eskişehir-Kırka produce 2-2.5 million tons of boron every year. In mining exports, boron holds either the first or the second place. Exports of mining and boron products in 2001 totaled almost 200 million US dollars.
Bauxite reserves suitable for aluminium production are about 87 million tons. The mines are Cconcentrated in the Seydişehir-Akseki, Silifke-Taşucu and Zonguldak regions.
The total of Turkeys copper reserves is about 1.7 million tons. When the copper resources that cannot be exploited for economic purposes are added, this figure reaches 3.5 million tons. Every year nearly 350,000 tons of ore concentrate is produced, roughly corresponding to 70,000 tons of copper metal.
There are 860,000 tons of lead reserves and 2,294,000 tons of zinc reserves in Turkey. Almost 35% of the zinc reserves are located in the zinc mines in Rize-Çayeli. Approximately 60,000 tons of zinc and 35,000 tons of lead are consumed every year.
Turkey has a total of 338 tons of gold reserves located in nine different areas. The countrys single operational mine is located in Bergama-Ovacık. There are also many potential reserves in the country that may be operated. About 150-200 tons of gold is imported every year and after it is processed in the country it is sold abroad.
The only known trona mine in the country is located in Ankara-Beypazarı. This is the worlds second largest reserve with 233 million tons.
Geothermal Energy Sources.
More then 600 hot water sources with a temperature of 102 °C have been found in Turkey. Turkey holds the first place in terms of geothermal energy in Europe and the seventh place in the world. Turkeys sole geothermal energy plant is the Denizli-Kızıldere station with a capacity of 20.4 MW, producing 12 MW of electricity. Clay and Kaolin. There are a total on 89 million tons of kaolin and 354 million tons of clay reserves in the country. Turkey is the third largest producer of tiles in Europe.
Crude Oil and Natural Gas.
With the Petroleum Law approved in 1954, the state monopoly in the exploration and production of crude oil was lifted and, with another law enacted the same year the National Oil and Natural Gas Corporation of Turkey (TPAO) was established.
TPAO is in the process of turning into an international company and continues its production and exploration activities in Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Libya. The company continues to discuss future activities with Turkmenistan, Iraq and Syria.
TPAO has shares in major projects in Azerbaijan. The shares that TPAO has in these projects are 6.75% in the Azeri-Çıralı-Güneşli project, 9% in the Şah Sea Project, and 10% in the Alov Exploration Project.
The Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan Pipeline Project aims to carry the crude oil produced in the Caspian region and especially in the Azerbaijan ACG Project through Turkey into the Mediterranean coast. The project is expected to be operational in 2005. TPAO holds a 6.53% share in the project. Initial construction began on August 1, 2002, the necessary project agreements were signed and the Bakü-Tbilisi-Ceyhan Corporation (BTC. Co), the company undertaking the project, was established. The actual construction began in April 2003.
The Şah Sea Project in Azerbaijan in which TPAO holds a 9% share is still underway. The natural gas production there will meet an important portion of Turkeys natural gas needs. The South Caucasus Natural Gas Pipeline (TCP) will be constructed to carry the gas from Azerbaijan to Turkey and Europe. The pipeline will pass through Georgia and it will carry 6.6 billion sm3/year of natural gas for 15 years starting from 2006 to the Turkish-Georgian border. The go ahead for the construction was given on February 27, 2003.
A heavy responsibility fall onto the oil companies in the reconstruction of Iraq after the war. TPAO has been researching hydrocarbon exploration and production opportunities in Iraq since 1994 and has concentrated on the Iraq-Turkey Natural Gas Transport Project, Gharraf Oil Field Development Project, and the Block-I Exploration Project. In the near future, the initiatives concerning Iraq are expected to continue within the framework of consortiums.
A total of 2,441,533 tons of crude oil was produced in 2002 by both domestic and foreign companies that hold petroleum management rights in Turkey. TPAO production was 1,712,038 tons (70%) and 729,495 tons (30%) were produced by foreign and domestic private companies.
In 2001, 378,402,739 m3 of natural gas were produced in Turkey, 71% of which came from the natural gas fields which belong to the national petroleum company, TPAO. Foreign companies produced approximately 110,383,071 m3. TPAO is able to meet about 2% of the natural gas supply in Turkey.