After the economic and industrial development of our country and the population increase, like every other country these subjects cause the need for natural mineral resources to increase. However, foreign dependency in our country, which has a very rich structure in terms of natural mineral resources, endangers the country’s economy and national security. In order to contribute to our country’s economy and to build a strong country security, according to our 2023 objectives, Natural Resources and Reserves Reporting Committee (UMREK) by our Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources was formed. UMREK Board Member Geophysical Engineer Kadem EKŞİ talked about the future, expectations and recommendations regarding the Mining Sector.
Can you make a short review about mining in Turkey?
The best example of the fact that mining in our country extends to ancient times is that the Lydian’s who lived in Anatolia used coins. Again, in Anatolia and Thrace regions, although many mineral deposits were discovered during the Ottoman period, these were mostly run by foreign states and companies. In 1935, the Mineral Research and Exploration Institute was established for research and operation of mining after the declaration of the Republic. Afterwards In 1954, after Turkey Petroleum Corporation was established petroleum research projects were carried out by these institutions. In 1957, Turkey Coal Operations was established and the operations of coal and lignite stratums were carried out. Today, underground resources and energy politics are under the charge of Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources. Finally, in July 2018, the General Directorate of Mining and Petroleum Affairs was established in the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources.
What can you say about the importance of mineral resources and exploration?
Natural mineral resources are indispensable for all kinds of industries, both in developed and developing countries. The natural mineral resources of oil, natural gas and high economic value minerals needed for the development of countries cause disputes, conflicts and even wars among many countries. As a result of the search made on the basis of a mine and the related evaluation studies, it is necessary to reveal not only the tenor and the reserve but also all other characteristics (physical, chemical, geological, mineralogical, technical, technological, economic, legal, environmental, social etc.). The mining sector poses a great risk because of the high investment costs as well as the difficulties in determining the quantities and qualities of the assets to be generated as a result of searches. Reduction of this risk is possible through studies in science and technology at every stage of mining research and with a reliable reporting system to be made afterwards.
How can a reliable reporting system be built?
The work done during the exploration and production of mines in accordance with certain international standards is only accepted, by all mining sector groups and financial institutions all over the world, when the analyzes are done transparently in the accredited laboratories and then all the data are merged and reported by Competent Persons. The rising trend of mining investments in world trade has revealed the necessity of establishing an internationally acceptable reserve and / or resource classification system. Reporting standards; by the stock exchange and financial institutions, is describing the minimum standards required for the production of their reports and the best practices in this regard, for reporting the mining search results, mining resources and / or reserves, productions to community. The UMREK Code has been developed by considering an international template for developing and publishing consistent worldwide reporting standards and by harmonizing with the standard definitions contained in the same template.
Could you give us information about UMREK?
The “National Resources and Reserves Reporting Committee” has been established in order to ensure that the mining exploration and operation activities carried out on the minefields are in accordance with the international standards and that these reports are accurate, reliable and transparent. With the establishment of this system, the safety, tracking and enhancement of the data provided after the mining activities are ensured. Foreign and domestic investors will be able to invest in reliable mining data evaluations. Management, evaluation and planning of our natural resources will be ensured.
What are the achievements in the financial sector with UMREK?
Foreign companies can have mining licenses in Turkey or other countries with the funds they receive from the stock exchange using the capital market, whereas in Turkey, companies do not have this opportunity because of very little use of capital market. For a strong capital structure, encouraging mining companies to go public in Turkey and the promotion of exchange traded in Stock Exchange Istanbul is of great importance. Currently there are 5 mining companies listed in XMADN, Stock Exchange Istanbul (BIST) mining index, Mining Index (KOZAA, KOZAL, PRKME, IHLGM, IPEKE). More than 1,400 mining companies are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange in Canada. They are also mines operated by 12 of these companies in Turkey, but none of these companies are listed in the Stock Exchange Istanbul.
What would you like to state as an end?
Informing investors and / or consultants with and without technical infrastructure; risks, opportunities inclusive of mining investment in all aspects, which have the possibility to evaluate the possible uncertainties, more efficient exploitation of our mineral resources with the Competent Person Market Reports, to be brought into the economy, the banks will provide financing to increase and thereby contributing to the development of commodity market areas in Turkey, under the charge of ministry of Energy and Natural Resources, all stakeholders should continue to increase their work. We must continue working in order to provide the right research and reporting environment for the research and operation of the resources, to classify the qualifications of the technical personnel working in the sector, and to develop the vision that enhances education on sectoral basis in the mining sector.
Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources Natural Resources and Reserves Reporting Committee (UMREK) Board Member