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Efemçukuru Gold Mine, Turkey


Efemçukuru Gold Mine, an underground gold mine and related plants and facilities, is located in Aegean Region of Turkey, 20 km to İzmir city and 14 km to Menderes province. The mine is located inside the strict preservation zone of the rivers and streams that supply water to Tahtalı Dam and Çamlı Dam.  The deposit was first discovered on early 1990s, afterwards a licence was obtained and initial exploration activities were conducted. After the initial license and a positive EIA report allowing the mining of 2,5 Million tonnes of gold, the mine started to operate in 2011, despite the protests from both the local Elele Movement and NGOs from İzmir.    In 2012, not long after the start of operation, the company filed for a new EIA for increasing the capacity of the mine from 2,5 to 8,5 Million tonnes and received a positive report. EGEÇEP (Aegea Environment and Cultural Platfrom), İzmir branch of TMMOB (Union of Chambers of Turkish Engineers and Architects) and TTB (Turkish Medical Association) filed a court case for the cancellation of the positive EIA report for capacity increase. In september 2015, the court decided on the cancellation of the report. However, the mine started to working long ago, and is still operating.   Efemçukuru Gold Mine creates life-threatening risk for İzmir, the third most populated city in Turkey.

In parallel to the court case for the cancellation of the EIA report, another case is filed against the urgent expropriation (with a legally determined monetary compensation) decision regarding the vineyards of certain villagers, for mining purposes. In December 2016, the local court decided against the expropriation decision however the company took the case to higher court and the decision is still pending. 

Basic Data

NameEfemçukuru Gold Mine, Turkey
Accuracy of LocationHIGH local level

Source of Conflict

Type of Conflict (1st level)Mineral Ores and Building Materials Extraction
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Mineral ore exploration
Tailings from mines
Mineral processing
Specific CommoditiesSilver
Chemical products

Project Details and Actors

Project DetailsReserve development studies estimate that 8.5 million tonnes of ore will be extracted at Efemçukuru, with average annual production of up to 600,000 tonnes. The ore is being processed through a milling and flotation concentrate circuit on site. The flotation concentrate is then transported to our Kisladag mine in Uşak, Turkey.
Type of PopulationRural
Start Date1993
Company Names or State EnterprisesTuprag from Turkey
Eldorado Gold (EG) from Canada
Relevant government actorsMinistry of Environment and Urbanisation
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersEGECEP - Aegea environment and culture platform

İzmir Chamber of Environmental Engineers

TMMOB -Union of Chambers of Turkish Engineers and Architects

Bar of İzmir

TTB - Turkish Medical Association

ELELE Movement

The Conflict and the Mobilization

Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)LOW (some local organising)
When did the mobilization beginPREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups MobilizingFarmers
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Local government/political parties
Social movements
Local scientists/professionals
Forms of MobilizationDevelopment of a network/collective action
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Objections to the EIA
Official complaint letters and petitions
Appeals/recourse to economic valuation of the environment
Refusal of compensation


Environmental ImpactsVisible: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Soil contamination, Waste overflow, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
Potential: Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Mine tailing spills
Health ImpactsPotential: Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…), Occupational disease and accidents, Deaths, Other environmental related diseases
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Displacement, Loss of livelihood, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place
OtherIncome Loss


Project StatusIn operation
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCourt decision (victory for environmental justice)
Court decision (failure for environmental justice)
New legislation
Application of existing regulations
Development of AlternativesThe mine should stop operating immediately
Do you consider this as a success?No
Why? Explain briefly.Although there are some court cases in favour of the environmental justice, the mine is in operation since 2011. The mobilisations could not stop the mine yet.

Sources and Materials


Mining law


Eldorado Announces Start-up of the Efemcukuru Gold Mine in Turkey

Ozen H., and Ozen Ş. (2014) Environmental Movements Against the Coalition of the State and Capital: Anti-Gold Mining Struggles in Turkey


The Gold Mine in Efemcukuru will poison İzmir (Efemçukuru'ndaki Altın Çalışması İzmir'i Zehirleyecek) - News in Turkish

Efemcukuru Mine is posing danger to environment and people's health. (Efemçukuru madeni çevreye ve halka zararlıdır) - In Turkish

Other Documents

Efemcukuru Gold Mine Protests

Efemcukuru Gold Mine Mining site

Environmental Movements Against the Coalition of the State and Capital: Anti-Gold Mining Struggles in Turkey Article by Hayriye Ozen and Sukru Ozen on anti-mining protests in Turkey.

Meta Information

ContributorBogazici University on behalf of Veli Güner
Last update02/01/2017



Efemcukuru Gold Mine


Efemcukuru Gold Mine

Mining site