Are Mining Activities to be Resumed in Lefke?


Jetty of former copper mine - Lefke
[Ruined jetty of abandoned copper mine in Lefke]
Sunday, 22 January 2023

A “Protocol on Studies to be Carried out in the Field of Earth Sciences and Mining” was signed between the Republic of Turkey Ministry’s General Directorate of Mineral Research and Exploration and the TRNC Deputy Prime Ministry, Ministry of Tourism, Culture, Youth and Environment, Yeniduzen reports.

The protocol was said to have been prepared at the request of the TRNC Ministry of Environment for “scientific research in the field of mining“, Yeniduzen asks if the aim is to resume mining in Lefke.

Undersecretary of the Ministry of Environment Serhan Aktunç said, “We do not have a mining target, research will be done”. However, despite Aktunç’s statement, Vice President of Turkey Fuat Oktay, at the press conference where he announced the “good news” in Ankara after his recent meeting  with the Üstel government, stated that the 2023 Economic and Financial Cooperation Agreement will carry it to different dimensions, compared to what been undertaken thus far.

He said that he will move forward with priorities such as “processing of mines”. Oktay’s statement has raised the question as to whether the research regarding the copper mines [once owned by the Cyprus Mines Corporation and abandoned after 1974] was the step before the resumption of mining activities.

Chairman of the minority partner in government Erhan Arıklı (YDP), speaking to Yeniduzen said, “There is a saying, we should not be ‘the poor guard of rich resources’” adding, “If there are riches underground and above ground, we have to evaluate it in line with the interests of the state and the people“.

 Arıklı went on to say that there were plans for cleaning up the spoilage from the mine in Lefke.  “We are talking about a huge area of land of 2000 decares [495 acres]. There is also a question of  turning it into a national park. The industrial area in Gemikonağı is in the city and is in bad shape. That industry needs to be removed from there”. 

Mayor of Lefke Aziz Kaya said that the municipality has not been contacted regarding Oktay’s statements and the Ministry of Tourism’s plans.

Head of the “Lefke and its Region Non-Governmental Organisations Platform”, Teoman Oktay, said that they will convene on Tuesday regarding the issue, they have called all the organisations to the meeting and they are “aware of the danger“.


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