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
NameKisladag Gold Mine, Turkey
SiteKisladag 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 ore exploration
Mineral processing
Specific CommoditiesSilver
Project Details and Actors
Project Detailstons 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.

An open quarry of 450m deep and 1,000m in diameter will be left as a cavity. Underground water level of the area is 250m. 70.000 tons of cyanide will be used in 15 years which means 2,5 tons of waste for 1 gram of gold. 30 million tons of water will be used from the limited amount of local water.

Average annual gold mined is 8-10 tons. As the project holds an incentive certificate, half of the electricity, water and social security expenses are paid by the public.
Level of Investment (in USD)Level changes constantly on the webpage of company
Type of PopulationSemi-urban
Potential Affected Population50,000-80,000
Start Date1999
Company Names or State EnterprisesTuprag from Turkey
Eldorado Gold (EG) from Canada
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersMany environmental organizations and movements particularly Inay Conscience Movement, Egecep and Bergama Hand by Hand Movement
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)HIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
When did the mobilization beginPREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups MobilizingFarmers
Trade unions
Forms of MobilizationBoycotts 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
Socio-economic 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
OtherLoss of cultural heritage
Project StatusIn operation
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCorruption
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 as a success?Yes
Why? Explain briefly.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 and Materials

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.


Son-in-law extension – In Turkish (Damat açılımı)
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Articles and statements from Union of Chambers of Turkish Engineers and Architects (TMMOB in Turkish acronym) - Press Releases by TMMOB –
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Articles and statements from Union of Chambers of Turkish Engineers and Architects (TMMOB in Turkish acronym) - Press Releases by TMMOB –
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Geological Engineer (Msc.) Tahir Ongur's articles:

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

Kisladag is 'printing money' – In Turkish (Kışladağ Para Basıyor)
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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)
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: Meclisin onunde siyanurlu altina hayir eylemi (No to cyanide gold protests in front of the Parliament Turkish)
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: Kuzular olu dogmaya devam ediyor! Tilkiler de (Lambs continue to be born dead! Foxes too - Turkish)
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: Kisladag Altin Madeni ve Etkileri (Kisladag gold mine and its effects - Turkish)
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Radikal: Siyanurlu altina sazli sozlu tepki (Musical response against cyanide gold -Turkish)
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Etha: Siyanur 132 hayvani telef etti (Cyanide kilss 132 animals - Turkish)
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Bianet: Kanda Siyanur, Suda Arsenik (Cyanide in blood, Arsenic in water Turkish)
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Bianet: Kisladag Altin Madeni Kalkinma Degil, Yokolus Getiriyor (Kisladag Gold Mine does not bring development, but Extinction Turkish)
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Newspaper Articles:

EGECEP website:
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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.

Media Links

Photo gallery of EGECEP:
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Other CommentsThe 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
ContributorMuammer Sakaryali
Last update28/08/2014
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