Boron is an element which is widespread in the rocks and water on the surface of the earth. The boron content of soil is generally on average between 10-20 ppm, but it is in high concentration in the Western regions of the USA and in the area between the Mediterranean and Kazakhstan.
Boron minerals are natural compounds which contain different amounts of boric oxide (B2O3) in their structures. Boron minerals commonly found in Turkey are tinkal, colemanite and ulexite. These minerals are primarily enriched by subjecting to physical processes to obtain concentrated boron products, and then converted into various refined boron products by chemical processes.
Boron compounds are used in many areas such as glass industry, agriculture, chemical and detergents sector, ceramic and polymeric materials, metallurgy, nano-technologies, automotive and energy sectors, electronics and communications sectors, space and aircraft vehicles, nuclear applications, military vehicles, fuels, construction. As well as boron is consumed mostly in the form of refined boron products, it can also be consumed directly as concentrated boron products. However, approximately 80% of the boron products consumed in 2016 were used in the glass (insulation type fiberglass, textile-type fiberglass, borosilicate glass and glass panels), ceramic-frit, agriculture and detergent-cleaning industry. Turkey produces the highest amount of refined boron products in the world.
The most important boron reserves are located in Turkey, USA, Russia and South America. All of the known boron deposites of our country are located in Western Anatolia, specifically; Eskişehir-Kırka, Kütahya-Emet, Bursa-Kestelek and Balıkesir- Bigadiç. Turkey has a total of 3.3 billion ton of boron reserves, which equates to 73% of the total world reserves, and puts it in first place in this respect.
The boron reserves of our country are operated by Eti Maden. Within the scope of the Boron Master Project, which was put into operation with the protocol entered into by the General Directorate of Mineral Research Exploration and Eti Maden, in 2002, explorations were carried out between 2002-2013, and as a result, our boron reserves, which amounted to 2 billion tons, with a B2O3 content of between 24-35%, were increased by 1.3 billion to 3.3 billion tons.
The reserve development endeavors are still ongoing by Bigadiç Master Project (BIGMAP). The objectives of this project are to meet the raw material needs of the new facility, to ensure the sustainability of mining operations and to plan new mines by reassessing the potential of the Bigadiç borate basin. 52,636.5 meters of drilling was completed by the end of 2016 in the project. By the end of July 2017, the bidding processes of the project are being carried out for 2017.
The consumption of boron products throughout the world is nearly 4 million tons. Approximately 48% of world boron demand in 2016 was met by Eti Maden.
Eti Maden has a production capacity of 2.7 million tons and became the world leader in the sector in 2005 with its wide range of products. Eti Maden produced 436,000 tons of refined boron products in 2002, and this rose to 1.83 million tons in 2016. By the end of July 2017, the production amount of refined boron products is approximately 1 million tons.
In 2016, 1.78 million tons of boron was sold by Eti Maden - an equivalent of 711 million US Dollars. That is to say, 96% of Eti Maden’s sales revenues came from export revenues. By the end of July 2017, the sales amount of boron products are 1.16 million tons- an equivalent of 423 million US Dollars.
The details presented here have been prepared with the aim of informing the users of the website of our Ministry, and do not possess the characteristics of official binding documents.