Turkey: "Hidden" Risks In Mining Projects In Turkey

Last Updated: 21 December 2016
Article by Alper Utaş

Soil of Turkey includes a lot of variety in mines and minerals. There is an extensive mining capacity and mining possibilities encompass various regions. However, a risky business in its very nature, investment and procedures to start mining operations and the rules to follow during mining operations may get complicated and require professional legal, financial and technical aid and follow-up. The complications may somewhat get augmented due to the general mining practices which may not always be "compliance-friendly" and the time taken by the administrative bureaucracy for transactions related to the mining.

The primary mining-specific legislation and regulations in Turkey generally consist of (i) Mining Law (Law No. 3213, published in the Official Gazette dated June 15, 1985 and numbered 18785) ("Mining Law"), (ii) Implementation Regulation on Mining Activities (published in the Official Gazette dated November 6, 2010 and numbered 27751) ("Mining Regulation"), (iii) Permit Regulation on Mining Activities (published in the Official Gazette dated June 21, 2015 and numbered 25852) ("Permit Regulation"), (iv) Work Health and Safety Regulation in Mining Workplaces (published in the Official Gazette dated September 19, 2013 and numbered 28770) ("WHS Regulation") and (v) Regulation on Mining Wastes (published in the Official Gazette dated July 15, 2015 and numbered 29417 – to enter into force on July 15, 2017) ("Waste Regulation"). Regulatory authority overseeing implementation of the Mining Law, Mining Regulation and Permit Regulation is the General Directorate of Mining Works ("GDMW"), an institution functioning under Turkish Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources. There are naturally various other laws and regulations (related to obligations, environment, labor, land use, workplace permits, etc.) which would apply in each mining project/operations or which may apply depending on the specifics of the mining project/operations.

In this article, we will attempt to elaborate a few issues which frequently constitute "hidden" risks in mining projects in Turkey. The reason we call them "hidden" is because these risks tend to be (mainly unintentionally) be neglected or forgotten about by those involved in mining activities and operations; however, they still continue to pose serious legal risks.

Production Status

Production status and levels are important elements which are frequently not paid enough attention to in Turkish mining practice. However, keeping the mines operative in terms of production and correct and due submission of annual notifications form key issues in keeping the mining licenses away from a number of risks.

Article 24 of the Mining Law and Article 37 of the Mining Regulation sets forth margins and penalties. The license owners who produce less than 10% production of the production level declared in the mining project are to be fined TRY 50,000. The licenses with a production output amounting to less than 10% of the production level declared in the mining project in any three years within a five years period are subject to cancellation.

Although certain mine owners may tend to declare production to avoid penalties even if there is no production in the minefield, such act would also be subject to TRY 50,000 administrative monetary fine as per Article 10 of the Mining Law. Pursuant to the same article, repetitive violations may result in doubling fines and eventual license cancellation after three repetitions in three years.


Use of explosives in mining activities is subject to various legal and regulatory necessities. As per Article 118 of the By-Law on Production, Import, Transportation, Preservation, Storage, Sale, Use, Disposal and Inspection Principles and Procedures of Explosives, Hunting Equipment and Similar Goods Excluded from Monopoly (published in the Official Gazette dated September 29, 1987 and numbered 19859) ("By-Law on Explosives"), use of explosives is subject to an administrative permit to be obtained from the provincial security/police offices. Validity of such permit requires existence of a compulsory liability insurance policy for hazardous materials, which is intended to provide coverage for compensation of third party losses due to activities engaged with the explosives. The insurance policy shall be kept valid for the whole permit period for the permit to keep its validity. Additionally, the persons using the explosives shall duly have a blaster certification.

Storage and transportation of such explosives are also subject to certain rules. In obtainment of a permit for explosives, lease agreement or storage depot permit (in case explosives are statutorily necessitated to be held in depots, an issue which is to be determined in accordance with the type of explosives) for the relevant storage area is required. As per Article 53 of the By-Law on Explosives, transportation of the explosives also requires a permit from local security/police offices.

Use of explosives also has environmental regulatory necessities. Pursuant to the Regulation on Environmental Permits and Licenses (published in the Official Gazette dated September 10, 2014 and numbered 29115), minefields whereby explosives are used (as explicitly listed under Annex-2 of the regulation) are subject to an environmental permits.

These numerous permits related to explosives may frequently get neglected in practice. However, due to the liabilities which may potentially arise therefrom (including individual criminal responsibility and substantial administrative monetary fines), due care shall be shown in compliance.  

Land Use

Due to the nature of mining, land use matters are critical. The type of the land used in mining activities matters. Due to GDMW's requirements in granting of a mining permit, most of the miners are aware that lease agreements are necessitated for private properties or forest permits are required for forest areas in conduct of mining activities. However, what they or GDMW may fail to check is the status of the actual property used and legal/regulatory necessities that may arise from such status.

As per Article 13 of the Law on Soil Protection and Land Use (Law No. 5403, published in the Official Gazette dated July 19, 2005 and numbered 25880) ("Soil Protection Law"), a permit from the relevant Directorate of Food, Agriculture and Husbandry would be required if the leased private property to be used for mining purposes is an agricultural area. Characteristics of the relevant agricultural area are important in determination of the permit roadmap. Definite, aqueous or planted agricultural lands and lands used for production of specific agricultural products cannot be used unless there is a ministry decision to that effect. Other agricultural areas (e.g. standard croplands) would require an allocation from the relevant Directorate of Food, Agriculture and Husbandry.

Accordingly, it would be strongly suggested for a letter to be obtained from the relevant Directorate of Food, Agriculture and Husbandry in respect to the agricultural status of the lands to be used for mining purposes. Pursuant to Article 21 of the Soil Protection Law, substantial administrative monetary fines, compensation requirements and suspension of works are set forth for unlawful use of agricultural lands.

Registration of Work Machines

Pursuant to Article 29 of the Road Traffic Regulation (published in the Official Gazette dated July 18, 1997 and numbered 23053 (first bis)) and Principles on Registration of Work Machines (Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges board decision dated October 17, 2008 and numbered 113), work machines shall be registered in the chambers of industry and commerce. It is a frequently observed case in Turkey that these machines are not registered. Official transfer of these work machines would not be possible if they are not duly registered.


The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Alper Utaş
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Pekin & Bayar
Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Related Topics
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Pekin & Bayar
Related Articles
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions