Could you provide an overview of Tümad’s Ivrindi and Lapseki projects?

Tümad holds mineral exploitation licenses of 7,400 hectares for the Balıkesir Ivrindi project, which is now at the investment stage and 1,500 hectares for the Çanakkale Lapseki Project. Based on feasibility studies, Ivrindi has 600,000 ounces and Lapseki has 400,000 ounces. Project financing for both projects has been completed, for an approximately US$400-million credit facility. Tümad is currently in production at its Lapseki project, which is a low sulfidation vein system acquired from the Australian company Chesser Resources in 2014.

How did Tümad succeed in implementing the Lapseki project while other projects have been delayed?

The number one reason is open and sincere communication with the government, through regular meetings with them, as well as with the locals. It was important to show our intentions and vision clearly about using the highest available standards and gaining a social license to operate. It is a real team effort and it has been a phenomenal achievement. We also organized trips for the locals to the Bergama and Efemçukuru gold mines, which helped a lot in gaining support.

Why do companies like Tümad join the International Cyanide Management Code?

This helps show people how serious a company is about managing cyanide, which is an easy to manage chemical. Having this code gives us more confidence in moving the project forward.

Part of EBRD’s financing for the two projects is a comprehensive CSR program. Could you give us more details about it?

Tümad has a policy to employ young people and will be the sponsor of three high schools in different parts of Turkey focused on mineral resources and renewable energy. The graduates of these schools will be employed in the mining and energy sectors, which will help to fulfill the need for technicians. As part of the government’s wider initiative in this area, there will be 12 or 13 high schools like these ones. Tümad also plans to use labor from nearby villages in its mines.

How does Tümad intend to expand its portfolio of projects?

Tümad has a highly experienced and capable exploration team which will be seeking new opportunities. We believe that Turkey is still an underexplored country and we are dedicated to finding more interesting properties. There will be upcoming auctions for mineral tenements in a few months. The Mineral Research and Exploration General Directorate (MTA) has a 2 million-meter drilling target for this year, so there will be auctions of the grounds resulted from these efforts with decent work and possibly resource on them, such as coal, gold, and base metals. Plus, we have some existing tenements in northern and western Turkey. Our whole crew has been focused on our two main projects, but very soon we will distribute them to new tenements so they can find new Ivrindis and Lapsekis.

Is Tümad considering diversifying from gold projects to base metals?

Yes, but it depends on what commodity is “shining” in the future. Now it is gold and for the foreseeable future, it seems to be so. In the long-term, our vision is to become one of the best producers in the world. In the short term, we aim to produce 150,000 ounces per year. Aside from gold, we could also diversify our focus to specialty minerals like lithium, cobalt, and nickel. Nurol Holding, the parent company of Tümad, also has technology companies in its portfolio. So, we may develop end-product oriented business models starting from the extraction of mineral commodities in the future.

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