Turkey’s mining exports rose 48 percent to $4.4 billion in the first nine months of this year, Energy Minister Fatih Dönmez has told a group of reporters.
“If this upward trend continues, we could end the year with [mining] exports of $6 billion to $6.5 billion,” he said.
“One of our largest markets is Asia. China is our pioneering market there, but we have been exporting several mining products to almost every part of the world,” he added.
The Turkish mining sector directly employs 138,000 people, according to the minister’s remarks.
Nearly 80 of the world’s commercial mining products are being extracted at Turkish quarries. Turkey also produces 650 types of marble and 150 other types of natural stone.
Mineral ore exports took the top spot in the first nine months in exports with $1.63 billion, up 76 percent compared to the same period last year. Processed natural stone exports and industrial mineral shipments followed with $941 million and $794.2 million, respectively.
China was the largest importer of Turkish mining products with $1.29 billion, up 45.2 percent annually. The United States followed with $419 million, up 54.4 percent. Mining exports to Spain hit $210 million, with an increase of 38.4 percent.
On average, the mining sector exports constitute nearly 3 percent of Turkey’s overall exports.
Turkey’s top export market in this sector was China last year, with $167.2 million. It was followed by the United States ($42.7 million), Sweden ($40 million), Indonesia ($24.9 million), Spain ($23.1 million), Bulgaria ($22.3 million) and Italy ($19.3 million).