General Directorate of Mineral Research and Exploration (MTA)

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Last Updated: March 1, 2011
Other Name: N/A
Location: Ankara
Subordinate To: Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources
Size: Unknown
Facility Status: Operational

Currently, Turkey does not have infrastructure for the commercial mining of uranium or thorium. [1] The General Directorate of Mineral Research and Exploration is responsible for the exploration of ore deposits in Turkey, including uranium and thorium. [2] Turkey has limited indigenous access to uranium, with known deposits estimated at approximately 9,000 metric tons. The deposits are spread over five locations in Central Anatolia and the Aegean, including Salihli (2,852 tU); Fakili (490 tU); Kocarli (208 tU); Demirtepe (1,729 tU); and Yozgat-Sorgun (3,850 tU). [3] An analysis by the General Directorate of Mineral Research and Exploration (MTA) of Turkey's uranium deposits concluded that the limited quantity and low quality of the reserves currently makes production economically impractical. [4]

At 380,000 metric tons, Turkey has some of the world's largest known thorium deposits. These deposits are located near Beylikova-Eskişehir in Central Anatolia. [4] However, no country currently operates a commercial thorium-U233 fuel cycle—India is the closest to doing so, but remains in the early phases of its "three-stage" program. Mining the thorium will therefore remain commercially unattractive for Turkey in the near-term.

Sources:
[1] "Production Capability: Turkey (Nuclear)," Jane's CBRN Assessments, 1 April 2010.
[2] "Regulatory and Institutional Framework for Nuclear Activities: Turkey," Nuclear Legislation in OECD Countries, Nuclear Energy Agency, 2008, www.nea.fr.
[3] "World Distribution of Uranium Deposits: Turkey," International Atomic Energy Agency, nucleus.iaea.org; Franz J. Dahlkamp, Uranium Deposits of the World: Asia (Berlin: Springer Reference, 2009), pp. 395-396.
[4] Dundar Renda, "Radioactive Minerals and Nuclear Fuels in Turkey," in Radiation Safety Problems in the Caspian Region, eds. Mohammed K. Zaidi and Islam Mustafaev (Dordrecht, NL: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2004), pp. 85-88.

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