Turkey uncovered the world’s second largest rare earth element reserve in the Beylikova district of Eskisehir in central Anatolia, Turkish media reports. The reserve, which contains 17 different earth elements, was recorded as the second largest reserve in the world after China’s 800-million-ton reserve.
President Erdogan announced that a production facility that will process 1200 tons of ore annually will be established in the first phase in the Kızılcaören District of Beylikova district.
“Eskisehir Beylikova, one of the important rare element fields of our country, is the second largest reserve area in the world after China. We are establishing a production facility that will process ore. After the trial production results, we will start the industrial facility investment. Our goal is to process 570 thousand tons of ore annually when this facility reaches full capacity, 10 thousand tons of rare earth oxides, 72 thousand tons of barite, 70 thousand tons of fluorite and 250 tons of thorium,” Recep Erdogan noted.
Rare earth elements are used in fields such as aviation, defense, the space industry, and biomedicine.
The Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Fatih Dönmez confirmed that as the field is extremely close to the surface, it will be less costly to extract elements.
“Of the 17 known rare elements, we will be able to produce 10 here,” he said.
Additionally, the new reserve will allow the processing of about 570,000 tons of ore annually. He also declared that 250 tons of thorium will be produced, an element used as fuel in the nuclear industry.
The discovery will allow local production of rare elements that will primarily be used in the country’s industrial sectors but also for export.
Minister Dönmez pointed out that their goal is to produce end products and said: “We will first produce the materials that our industry needs. But we will have the opportunity to export more than we need. It will be one of the good examples of our new economy model focused on investment, employment, production, and export, which we frequently express in the Turkish Economy Model. We will have the opportunity to realize all the products of the supply chain from the first product to the end product here.”
“If you earn 1 unit when you sell the ore you extract without processing, you can make it 10 times more valuable when you turn it into an intermediate product, and 100 times more when you turn it into an end product. Especially when you use it in a technological tool, the number of multipliers there eventually becomes equivalent to the technological product you produce. Our goal is to produce high-tech, value-added products from this field and offer them to our people,” Minister Dönmez highlighted.