Seçkin Sağlam / DUVAR
The Cengiz Holding company, known for its close ties with the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government, has purchased a copper mine in the heavily contested Kaz Mountains, where protestors have fiercely opposed other mine projects during the past year.Alamos Gold says license necessary to resume operations in Kaz Mountains 'pending'
Cengiz Holding purchased the mine from its Canadian owner, Liberty Gold, for what will total $55 million to be paid out in three installments over two years.
Since last year, protestors have tirelessly fought against gold mining projects in the Kaz Mountains, in Turkey's western province of Çanakkale, temporarily forcing companies to halt their activities. Yet large parcels of land in the area have been licensed for mining activity, which activists and environmentalists say will be disastrous for the region.
The Ministry of Environment and Urban Planning informed the public of Cengiz Holding's project to develop the mine and increase its capacity in an announcement on its website on August 10, adding that the environmental impact report process had begun.
The project will reportedly cost 923 million TL, with a construction process that will last for two years, followed by an anticipated 15 years of production and activity followed by a two year closure period.
Annual copper production is expected to total six million tons, which will result in an additional seven million tons of waste.
“We are determined to say 'no' to this until the end, because the mining activities do not benefit the public in any way. Our land and water are being poisoned with carcinogenic materials and they want to bring our world heritage mountains to a state that won’t allow for grass to grow for hundreds of years,” said environmental lawyer Ümran Aydın.MPs, activists sign petition to evacuate gold company from Kaz Mountains in western Turkey