Gold has been one of the most sought metals with the fundamental functions which was possessed since the ancient periods.
These important functions, usage as jewelry, the accumulation of wealth, and as a vehicle of exchange, the fact that it is easy to process, durable, and widespread in many branches of industry (electronics, aviation and space technology, medicine, dentistry, decoration and engineering sectors) establish the benefits of its use. 43% of the gold produced in the world is used as jewelry, 15% as gold coins, 37% in electronics and 5% in dentistry sectors.
The total amount of gold reserves, which are able to be processed, in the world are 56.000 tons. Almost 50% of the reserves are shared between China, S. Africa, USA, Australia, Canada and Peru, who are also the leaders in the production of gold throughout the world. World gold production was in the range of 3.000 tons in 2015, and 51% of this production was spread across these six countries.
Gold production had a positive trend in between 2002 and 2013, in 2013 this trend was constant and in the first three quarter of 2014, the total gold supply declined with rate of 0.1% compared to previous year and the total amount of production regressed to 3.147 tons. On the other hand, in the meanwhile, the total gold demand increased with the rate of 7.7% compared to previous year and the total amount rose to 2.958 tons. In the first three quarter of 2014, it was seen that the demands of customers in India (39%) and USA (3%) increased, on the other hand, it was recorded that the demands in China (37%), Turkey (13%) and Indonesia (45%) decreased. While the almost ¼ of total demand was supplied by recycle, the remaining part of demand was supplied by mining activities.
In our country, gold deposits which was known and ongoing the exploration works are mostly in the Aegean, Western Anatolia, Eastern Black Sea, and Eastern Anatolian regions. The gold fields which are ready for production currently possess changing amounts of gold between 1.2 gr to 12.65 gr per one ton. Accordingly, the total amount of available workable gold reserves on metal based are 840 tons. Based on the geological structure and the gold formation models in the world, it is forecasted that the gold potential in Turkey is about 6.000-7.000 tons.
In Turkey, Gold is currently produced in the Gold plants in İzmir/Bergama-Ovacık, Balıkesir /Havran, Gümüşhane/Mastra, Manisa/Salihli-Sart, Erzincan/İliç, Eskişehir/Sivrihisar, Kayseri/Kocasinan and Uşak/Eşme-Kışladağ.
Table : Gold Production in Turkey (ton, in metal form)
Our country currently holds the fifth place in the world in respect of the demand for gold. More than 200 tons of gold were being imported until 2008, and it is estimated that close to half of this was processed and re-exported as jewelry. Our country is in the second place behind India in the production of gold jewelry. The amounts of gold imported to Turkey were 231 tons in 2007, 166 tons in 2008, 37 tons in 2009, 42 tons in 2010, 79.7 tons in 2011, 157.63 tons in 2012, 302 tons in 2013 and 131 tons in 2014, totally 3215 tons in last 20 years. The significant decrease of import of gold in 2009 and 2010 were caused by the huge rises in the price of gold during that period, and the needs were met locally, from scrap gold, also defined as “gold kept under the mattress”.
Amongst public opinion there is a particular sensitivity to the use of cyanide during the exploration and the processing of gold. However, today, cyanide is not used during any of the stages of gold prospecting. Gold is prospected in the same way as coal, copper, iron, boron, etc. In gold mining cyanide is only used during the stage of obtaining metal gold from the raw taken from the oven, and even then it is subject to EIA approvals and carried out in enclosed facilities where all types of security precautions have been taken. Thus, the cyanide that is used does not come into contact with nature and humans. No dangerous situations faced with in respect of humans and other living beings during the operation of gold mines, until today.
Approximately 1.5 million tons of cyanide is consumed every year, in the world. 18% of this (270.000 tons) is used in the mining sector, and the remaining 82% is used in textiles, synthetic fabric, nylon, rubber, car tires, metal processing – steel tempering, electro coating, galvanization, jewelry, the pharmaceutical industry, insecticides and pesticides, the manufacturing of indigo, optic polishers and photography. 85% of the gold production in the world is carried out with the method using cyanide. In Turkey, 300.000 tons of cyanide is used in industry every year, and only 1.5% of this is used in gold mining.
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.