Star – Canadian gold producer Alamos Gold will invest USD 1.5 billion in Turkey over a period of 10 years for mining precious metals in the country’s Aegean province of Canakkale. Operating under the name of Kuzey Biga Madencilik in Turkey, the company is in the advanced stages of exploration in Canakkale’s Biga peninsula and has found deposits of gold and silver worth over USD 3 billion, according to Kuzey Biga Madencilik Vice Chairman, Han Ilhan.
The company acquired the two projects, Kirazli and Agi Dagi, in 2010 and plans to start gold production in each by 2014 and 2016, respectively. “The two projects are estimated to hold 1.5 million ounces of gold and 5 million ounces of silver. We plan to invest USD 454 million initially which will reach USD 1.5 billion over the next 10 years..”, Ilhan noted. The projects will directly or indirectly create 6,000 jobs, a significant contribution to the local economy.
“Turkey’s economic success and political stability in the last decade have been the main drivers attracting foreign investors into the country and the rapidly growing mining industry is benefiting from this inflow. Alamos Gold is an important example in this regard..”, Ilhan said, adding that the government’s investment incentives package and the country’s status as a safe haven in the eyes of foreign investors were also critical in attracting foreign companies.
Although a relative newcomer to gold mining, with production having started in 2001, Turkey is rising fast in the ranks as a producer. 136 tons of the precious metal was produced in the country between 2001 and 2012. Last year’s output reached 29.5 tons, making the country largest producer of gold in Europe.