Turkey finds new uses for abundant boron reserves

Today’s Zaman - The Boron Institute of Turkey is sponsoring several projects by Turkish universities and research centers to investigate alternative uses for boron. So far, the Boron Institute’s sponsorship has allowed for the successful completion of 20 such projects, while another 61 are in progress and likely to produce good results. Against the background of rumors that facilities to mine and process boron will be privatized, the research sponsored by the Boron Institute set up by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party), has ushered in a new and important range of possibilities for boron. Boron is considered Turkey’s most strategic mineral, and in the last four years the country has made significant progress with respect to the product. Turkey drilled 19.444 meters between 2002 and 2004, and new boron reserves of 1 billion tons were discovered, bringing the total of Turkey’s known boron reserves to a staggering 3 billion tons. Turkey, home to 72% of the world’s boron supply, can provide the world’s boron demand for 500-600 years. However due to the low consumption rate of the mineral, the reserves in the US, China and Russia are sufficient to supply demands for 300-400 years, boron experts say. To create more demand for its product, Turkey has launched a promotional campaign for boron by seeking out new areas of use for the mineral.