The trona ore is the most widespread of the soda minerals which are found naturally within nature. It is the underlying raw material used in the production of soda ash. It is also known as “sodium carbonate” or “natural soda”.
When compared with the boron mines, which are currently on the agenda of our country, it is present in much greater quantities than boron. Additionally, as trona is not present in Europe, and it is one of the fundamental intermediate materials used in the chemical industry, it possesses the value to be able to compete with boron in the economic sense.
Trona passes through certain procedures and processes in the commercial field before being transformed into soda ash. According to the casting concentrations it is named as “heavy soda ash” and “light soda ash”. Around 52% of natural soda ash is used in the glass industry, 27% in the chemical industry, and around 11% in the soap and detergents industry.
Today, it is estimated that the exploitable trona reserves in the world are in the region of 45 billion tonnes. Approximately 38 billion tonnes of these reserves are in the United States of America (USA). 16 million tonnes of natural soda ash is produced in the USA every year, and this meets their own domestic needs as well as being sold to the world markets, in particular the industrialised European countries.
The size of the world soda ash market is currently around 35 million tonnes of production, and around 3,5 billion dollars in value. 70% of this market is comprised of synthetically produced soda ash, and 30% is natural soda ash, produced from trona. It is expected that there will be an increase in the worldwide demand, production and sales of soda ash of around 2,5% in the coming years, and that this increase will mostly be in the glass production industry.
In addition to the reserves in the district of Beypazarı, near Ankara (approximately 250 million tonnes), approximately 650 million tonnes of reserves were discovered in the districts of Kazan and Sincan, in Ankara in 2007. Therefore, Turkey has around 900 million tonnes of exploitable trona reserves, and is in second place in the world in this respect.
A project to process trona, and convert it into natural soda ash, which was carried out by private sector in Turkey, was completed on 17.03.2009, and became operational in the Beypazarı district of Ankara. These facilities were set up with an investment of around 375 million dollars, with 2 million tonnes of trona being processed every year, to obtain 1 million tonnes of natural soda ash, 100 thousand tonnes of sodium bicarbonate and 30 thousand tonnes of caustic soda.
Table: The quantities of raw coal trona produced on a yearly basis
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.