MORE THAN MAKING DO

Turkey 2020 | MINING & INDUSTRY | INTERVIEW

Turkey is a perfect mining springboard not only for expanding one's operations regionally, but also for helping the country inch closer to energy independence.

Vehip Kaçı Ulrich Ruppel

Can you outline DMT Group's involvement in the coal mining sector in Turkey?
Vehİp Kaçı DMT's work in the coal—and more broadly, mining—sector mostly involves greenfield projects. Before investing in an un-mined area, our clients want to be sure what is underground and whether it is feasible to mine there. Our expertise lies in scoping, pre-feasibility, and feasibility as well as bankable feasibility studies that determine what is happening underground and whether a project makes financial sense. In the last 10 years, we have had more than 20 customers in the coal and metalliferous mining industry. These range from new entrants to the mining industry that are interested in small deposits all the way up to the top five multi-industrial Turkish companies that are big players in a number of sectors and want to invest in the coal mining industry to produce energy. Our work in the coal mining sector in Turkey is part of a larger country-wide push for energy independence; however, we believe it is good for the country to reduce its dependency on imports for energy sources.

How useful are Turkey's coal resources for power generation?
Ulrich Ruppel The calorific value of coal deposits in Turkey range from 1,000 up to roughly 5,000 kilocalories per kg. Everything above 1,200 or 1,500 is usable with new thermal coal power plant technology to produce energy, while anything below 1,000 is very poor. However, if one does not have anything of better quality, they have to make do with what they have. At the end of the day, energy is energy, and new technologies have been created to allow power plants to better utilize low-calorific coal. In Turkey, there are several power plants that can utilize this coal. It also makes sense to use domestic coal from a strategic standpoint, as it reduces Turkey's dependence on imported energy sources.

Can you give an overview of the different needs of your clients?
VK First, we provide services to so-called junior companies in coal and metalliferous mining that generally do not have much know-how in-house and need guidance from the beginning to the end. We also work for bigger companies that usually have excellent knowledge of mining and are able to solve problems on their own, but who come to us when they have specific problems our experts can solve. Our third group of clients are state-owned companies whom we help present reports according to international standards to possible Turkish investors at the international level, in addition to assisting with valuations.

What are your goals for diversifying DMT Turkey's revenue stream?
UR For DMT's global operations, of 2018's EUR120-million turnover, roughly 20% was related to mining. This diversification is due to the decline of the mining sector in Germany, where the underground coal sector no longer exists. We were forced to change our operating structure. In Turkey, where we are currently much smaller, 100% of our revenue is from the mining sector. In the mining industry, some of our clients are private investors that are curious about financing a mining project by bank loans. At the end of the day, our strategy is to develop our mining know-how in Turkey. Turkey is a great place for us to do so because there is also the possibility of making connections with Central Asian as well as African companies with whom the Turkish government has good relations. Additionally, Turkey has a large youth and many highly skilled mining experts and geologists. The mining core of DMT Group could be in Turkey in the next 10 or 20 years. Our vision is to have Turkish experts being trained by our British and German experts to complete knowledge transfers in five years' time.