Turkey to boost gold production and rely less on imports, says Erdogan

(Kitco News) Turkey plans to keep increasing its gold production so it can rely less on imports, said the country’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

“Our gold production, which was almost zero in 2000, broke the record of the history of the Republic [of Türkiye] with 42 tons in 2020. According to the data of the last five years, our average production is around 35 tons,” Erdogan said during the opening ceremony of the Gubretas Gold Mine in western Anatolia.

The new mine, located in the Western part of the country, is looking to produce 6.5 tons of gold a year.

“With the new discoveries, we are aiming to increase our production. This will be important in terms of foreign trade balance,” Erdogan said. “For very many years, Turkey could not benefit from its potential in the field of precious metal. Turkey has been subject to a significant number of plots [to hinder its precious metal sector] in the pretext of environmentalism.”

Erdogan wants Turkey to be more independent regarding precious metals and depend less on imports.

“Last year, our mineral exports increased by 9.1% compared to the previous year and reached $6.5 billion, breaking the record in the history of the Republic in this field,” Erdogan added. “We have increased the contribution of our mining industry to the gross domestic product from 11 billion Turkish liras to 93 billion liras in the last 14 years.”

Turkey saw its gold imports surge 543% to $3.1 billion back in September as annual inflation accelerated to 24-year highs of 83.45%. Turkey’s central bank was one of the few central banks that cut rates in 2022, taking the key interest rate from 14% to 9%.

The country’s central bank also stepped up gold purchases last year, adding 31 tons of gold to its reserves in Q3, which boosted its gold reserves to 489 tons.

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