Artvin Cerattepe and Genya Mine, Turkey

Residents of Artvin, a small town in the North-eastern Black Sea region in Turkey continue to resist the opening of a dangerous gold and copper mine in the Cerattepe area since more than 20 years. After years of resistance, the conflict is still ongoing


Residents of Artvin, a small town in the North-eastern Black Sea region in Turkey continue to resist the opening of a dangerous gold and copper mine in the Cerattepe area for more than 20 years. After years of resistance, several mining companies, and several court rulings against the project, the conflict is still on-going.

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Basic Data
NameArtvin Cerattepe and Genya Mine, Turkey
Accuracy of LocationMEDIUM regional level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Mineral Ores and Building Materials Extraction
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Water access rights and entitlements
Mineral ore exploration
Specific CommoditiesWater
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsIn the previous plans, the project had the aim to mine the gold, silver, zinc and copper, with an open pit method. However, after the cancellation of the EIA due to the adverse effects of gold mining and leaching, the project is renewed by the company.

In the current EIA report, the objective of the project is put forwared as developing a closed pit copper mine in Artvin Cerattepe, from where the copper concentrate will be transported by teleferic and motorway to the ETİ Bakır Corp. for the flotation process. The raw ore capacity for copper is 500.000 ton/year.

The EIA report mentions the gold, silver and zinc concentrates as well, but does not provide any information about whether these metals will be mined and leached together with the copper for economics purposes.
Project Area (in hectares)4,406
Level of Investment (in USD)25,000,000
Type of PopulationSemi-urban
Potential Affected Population35000 to 170000
Start Date1995
Company Names or State EnterprisesÖzaltın Holding from Turkey
Cengiz Holding from Turkey - Cengiz Holding rents the mine from Ozaltin İnsaat.
Relevant government actorsMinistry of Environment and Urbanization

Ministry of Forestry and Water Affairs

Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersTEMA Foundation

Green Artvin Association

Artvin local CSO's

Artvin Bar Association

Karadeniz İsyandadır Platform

Brotherhood of the Rivers Platform
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)MEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
When did the mobilization beginPREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups MobilizingFarmers
Local ejos
Local government/political parties
Social movements
Trade unions
Local scientists/professionals
Forms of MobilizationBlockades
Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of a network/collective action
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Objections to the EIA
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Hunger strikes and self immolation
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Floods (river, coastal, mudflow), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Soil contamination, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity, Mine tailing spills
Health ImpactsPotential: Accidents, Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide, Occupational disease and accidents, Other environmental related diseases
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Militarization and increased police presence, Violations of human rights
Potential: Displacement, Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place, Loss of livelihood, Other socio-economic impacts
OtherLoss of income
Project StatusPlanned (decision to go ahead eg EIA undertaken, etc)
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCorruption
Criminalization of activists
Court decision (victory for environmental justice)
Court decision (undecided)
Strengthening of participation
Violent targeting of activists
Do you consider this as a success?Not Sure
Why? Explain briefly.The local residents have managed to prevent any attempts to open the mine since more than 20 years, in that sense it is a success. However, the plans for mining projects are still on going. The court case is still going on, as well.
Sources and Materials

Mining Law
[click to view]

Forestry Law
[click to view]

Convention on Biological Diversity
[click to view]

European Landscape Convention
[click to view]

Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats
[click to view]

Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora
[click to view]


Union of Chambers of Turkish Engineers and Architects' Cerattepe Report
[click to view]

Effects of Mining Activities in Artvin Cerattepe and Genya on Natural Resources
[click to view]


Artvin Çoruh University Faculty of Forestry's Report
[click to view]

Media Links

Green Artvin Association's petition
[click to view]

Other Documents

Barricade People of Artvin, holding the ground against the mining company
[click to view]

Police attack Police forces attacked the protesters with tear gas on 16th February
[click to view]

Meta Information
ContributorCem İskender Aydın, TEMA Foundation, [email protected]
Last update17/10/2017