Koç Group's mining company Demir Export boasted a production capacity of 1.6 million tons of iron, 10 million tons of coal (open pit and underground) and 25 thousand ounces of gold as of year-end 2015, further bolstering its position as Turkey's most comprehensive mining company. Since its founding in 1957, the Company has been operating iron ore, base metals and open pit coal mines. Since 2015, it has focused on underground coal and precious metal production as well.
After winning the tender held by the Turkey Coal Mining Company (TKİ) to extract 36.5 tons of coal over 18 years in Manisa's Soma region, the Company started a three-year investment drive at Eynez Coal Mine, which became operational in March 2015. As a result, the first phase of completely mechanized production was commissioned. In October, the equipment installment for the second phase was completed and full capacity production started in November.
Implemented for the first time in Turkey, the fully mechanized coal extraction method called Longwall Top Coal Caving (LTCC) takes occupational safety to the highest level, creates a secure workplace and boosts productivity.
At Sivas Kangal open pit coal mine, in line with the agreement entered into with the power plant operating company in September 2013, 6.5 million tons of coal was extracted and sold as planned.
Capital investments in the iron ore segment continued at six enterprises during the year. A second ore processing plant at the Divriği Iran ore mine with a capacity of 500 tons/hour was completed and commisioned in January 2015.
Outlook, targets and strategies for 2016
In 2015, the Company focused on project development related to iron and coal production, base metals such as copper and zinc; and precious metals, especially gold.
Some 37 thousand meters of drilling work for reserve exploration and development was completed at the Erzurum İspir Copper-Zinc Project which was awarded to the Company in a public tender held by the General Directorate for Mining in 2012. Feasibility studies will continue in 2016.
After the lifting of the stay of execution motion concerning the revised Favorable Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report for the Bakırtepe Gold Mine Project, work resumed in June 2015. Production is scheduled to commence in early 2016.
Demir Export maintains its robust position in the Turkish mining industry thanks to a well-experienced staff of specialists coupled with the Company's high capacity machinery and equipment that can carry out excavation and extracting efforts of 40 million m3 per year.