January 23, 2013 - 17:26 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - The Turkish gold industry is planning to be among the top 15 countries in terms of gold production within the next three years, Today’s Zaman reports.
“If things go well, we hope to earn a place on the top-15 list of gold-producing countries in the world by 2016,” Muhterem Köse, general coordinator of the Gold Miners' Association, based in Ankara, has said.
Gold production in Turkey has significantly increased in recent years. In 2006, only eight tons of gold were produced; by 2009, that figure had grown to 14.9 tons and last year, production reached 29.5 tons.
Turks are also major consumers of gold. Turkey is among the top three countries - after India and China - in which people buy the most gold jewelry items. “In fact, as far as per capita consumption of gold goes, Turkish people are at the top of the list,” Köse said, noting that 40-50 tons of gold a year are bought by people in Turkey for ornamentation and/or as a means of investment.
There are presently four companies, two of them with foreign partners, in Turkey operating in gold mining, and these companies paid a total of TL 37.7 million (nearly $21.5 million) to the state in 2011 in corporate income tax.
As per figures announced by Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan a couple of months ago, Turkey earned $10.7 billion from gold exports in 2012. This total figure breaks down, roughly, into $6.5 billion from Iran, $3.5 billion from the UAE and the rest from other countries.