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Kisladag Gold Mine, Turkey


Kisladag Gold Mine is the largest gold-mining operation in Turkey. A total of 10 million tons per year is expected to be extracted with an expected 15 years of mine life. The mine will produce 240 000 ounces of gold per year at full production capacity. Kisladag is located within the boundaries of the province of Usak, Izmir (180 kilometers to the west) and Ankara (350 km north-east). Usak city center is the closest to the project site, being at 35 km northeast.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Kisladag Gold Mine, Turkey
State or province:Usak
Location of conflict:Kisladag region between Usak-Esme and Ulubey districts
Accuracy of locationMEDIUM (Regional level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Mineral Ores and Building Materials Extraction
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Mineral processing
Mineral ore exploration
Specific commodities:Lead
Project Details and Actors
Project details

tons of gold will be extracted from Kisladag in 15 years (it has been extracted for 6 years); 240 million tons of rock will be extracted and broken, 110 million tons of which will stay as molding with heavy metals and 130 million tons of which will be grinded and will stay as cyanide-treated waste.

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Level of Investment:Level changes constantly on the webpage of company
Type of populationSemi-urban
Affected Population:50,000-80,000
Start of the conflict:1999
Company names or state enterprises:Tuprag from Turkey
Eldorado Gold (EG) from Canada
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Many environmental organizations and movements particularly Inay Conscience Movement, Egecep and Bergama Hand by Hand Movement
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityHIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Trade unions
Forms of mobilization:Boycotts of official procedures/non-participation in official processes
Development of a network/collective action
Development of alternative proposals
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Media based activism/alternative media
Objections to the EIA
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Arguments for the rights of mother nature
Appeals/recourse to economic valuation of the environment
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Food insecurity (crop damage), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Noise pollution, Soil contamination, Waste overflow, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Mine tailing spills
Health ImpactsVisible: Accidents, Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…), Occupational disease and accidents, Deaths
Other Health impactsPoisoning
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Displacement, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Violations of human rights, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Other socio-economic impactsLoss of cultural heritage
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Corruption
Criminalization of activists
Court decision (victory for environmental justice)
Court decision (failure for environmental justice)
New legislation
Violent targeting of activists
Application of existing regulations
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Yes
Briefly explain:Environmental awareness was raised. Panels, manifests, press releases were done, pressures such as conflicts with gendarmerie and arrests were faced. The process also had positive contributions. Resistance was maintained by the villagers of Inay from the very beginning; they refused to be employed by the goldmine, served as a model and will continue to serve.
Sources & Materials
Related laws and legislations - Juridical texts related to the conflict

Mining law being in the first place, all the amended laws are against public and state interest. Mine and water use rights are in favour of the private companies.

References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

Son-in-law extension – In Turkish (Damat açılımı)
[click to view]

Articles and statements from Union of Chambers of Turkish Engineers and Architects (TMMOB in Turkish acronym) - Press Releases by TMMOB –
[click to view]

Geological Engineer (Msc.) Savas Dilek's article:

Geological Engineer (Msc.) Tahir Ongur's articles:

Articles and statements from Union of Chambers of Turkish Engineers and Architects (TMMOB in Turkish acronym) - Press Releases by TMMOB –
[click to view]

Kisladag is 'printing money' – In Turkish (Kışladağ Para Basıyor)
[click to view]

A Critic Against the EIA of Tuprag Goldmine in Kisladag-Usak – In Turkish (Uşak-Kışladağı, Tüprag Altın Madeni Çevre Etki Değerlendirmesi'ne Ä°lişkin Bir Eleştiri)
[click to view]

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

: Kuzular olu dogmaya devam ediyor! Tilkiler de (Lambs continue to be born dead! Foxes too - Turkish)
[click to view]

: Meclisin onunde siyanurlu altina hayir eylemi (No to cyanide gold protests in front of the Parliament Turkish)
[click to view]

Etha: Siyanur 132 hayvani telef etti (Cyanide kilss 132 animals - Turkish)
[click to view]

Bianet: Kanda Siyanur, Suda Arsenik (Cyanide in blood, Arsenic in water Turkish)
[click to view]

Newspaper Articles:

[click to view]

: Kisladag Altin Madeni ve Etkileri (Kisladag gold mine and its effects - Turkish)
[click to view]

[click to view]

EGECEP website:
[click to view]

So many details including newspaper reports can be accessed via internet. Kisladag news, Inay Conscience Movement news, intoxications in Esme are the key words for the internet search.

Bianet: Kisladag Altin Madeni Kalkinma Degil, Yokolus Getiriyor (Kisladag Gold Mine does not bring development, but Extinction Turkish)
[click to view]

Radikal: Siyanurlu altina sazli sozlu tepki (Musical response against cyanide gold -Turkish)
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

Photo gallery of EGECEP:
[click to view]

Other comments:The process is explained thoroughly in Muammer Sakaryalis book called Post from Kisladag /Letters to the Nymph . (Yeni Insan Press)(
Ozer Akdemirs book published by Evrensel Press: Requiem for Kisladag
Meta information
Contributor:Muammer Sakaryali
Last update28/08/2014
Related conflicts
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