Home » Turkey Revokes Permits of SSR Gold Mine After Accident

Turkey Revokes Permits of SSR Gold Mine After Accident

Gold Mine Operations Halted, Investigation and Rescue Efforts Underway

by Ikeoluwa Ogungbangbe
Turkey mining accident

In a decisive move following a devastating landslide at the Copler gold mine in eastern Turkey, the country’s environmental ministry has revoked the environmental licenses and permits of the mine. The mine, situated in the Erzincan province, approximately 500 kilometers east of Ankara, is largely owned by Denver-based SSR Mining through its Turkish operation, Anagold Madencilik. This action comes in the wake of an incident, which saw 10 million cubic meters of earth cascading down a 200-meter slope and left nine workers buried, triggering a nationwide concern over mining practices and environmental safety.

As the community reels from the tragedy, rescue operations are in full swing, with Turkey’s Energy Minister Alparslan Bayraktar providing updates. Despite the ongoing efforts to locate and rescue the trapped workers, there’s a glimmer of hope as initial tests have not indicated any water contamination in the vicinity of the accident site. The aftermath of the landslide has seen a significant response from Turkish authorities, including the detention of six individuals, among them a Canadian national, as part of the investigation into the cause of the disaster. This incident has cast a shadow over the mining sector in Turkey, highlighting the need for stringent safety and environmental standards.

SSR Mining has announced a halt in all mining activities at the site, taking a step back to assess the situation and plan its next move. The company is poised to release more details in its upcoming 2023 financial results announcement, scheduled for February 21. Despite the operating license for the mine being valid until 2026, the future of mining operations remains uncertain. The Energy Ministry has made it clear that before any consideration of resuming production, comprehensive measures must be undertaken to rectify the landslide and waste management issues plaguing the area.

This tragic event serves as a stark reminder of the risks associated with mining and the importance of adhering to environmental and safety regulations to prevent such disasters. The Turkish government’s response demonstrates a rigorous stance on mining operations that compromise environmental safety and the well-being of its workers. As the investigation continues, the focus remains on the rescue efforts for the trapped workers and the broader implications for mining practices in Turkey and beyond.

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