Old mining sites will be restored to nature with science and technology
YK Enerji organized a panel titled “Rehabilitation of Old Mine Sites” with the participation of respected academics at the Yeniköy Power Plant Conference Hall as part of the National Afforestation Day. Ali Rıza Koç, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Nature Protection Association of Turkey, Ali Rıza Koç, Vice Rector of Istanbul Technical University, participated in the panel organized under the moderation of Sertaç Doğanay, Technology and Sustainability Communicator. Dr. Mustafa Kumral, Professor from the Department of Mining Engineering of Muğla Sıtkı Koçman University. Dr. Taki Güler, Professor from the Department of Mining Engineering at Dokuz September University. Dr. Çağatay Pamukçu and YK Energy's project advisor Assoc. Dr. The Sultan attended during the day.
by the end of 2025, an area of 1200 hectares will be reforested
Giving the opening speech of the event before the panel, YK Energy General Manager Erol Demir said that by the end of 2025, the old mining area of 1200 hectares will be rehabilitated and restored to nature, and continued his words: “We are living a very meaningful day for our country and our company and we are starting one of the largest restoration projects in the history of our Republic. Husamlar mine January, which is where we started the afforestation works today, is one of the areas where the first coal was extracted 40 years ago. This is a milestone for us and for Turkish mining... We will restore this area, which has completed its life as a mining area, to nature.”
Erol Demir expressed that they will walk a long way and are determined to move the process to a scientific point and to involve stakeholders in the process, they have chosen consultants to guide them, and concluded his words as follows: “It will be a guide for us to walk this path with the TTKD. We have already brought together 8000 saplings with the soil. a total of 250 thousand saplings will be planted for the 63-hectare area to be reforested in 2023. Our goal next year is to reforest more than 500 hectares of land. the total number of plants and trees to be planted by the end of 2025 is more than 3 million.
Ali Rıza Koç, Chairman of the Board of Directors of TTKD, who will monitor YK Enerji during the rehabilitation process with full authority and share the reports transparently with the public, said, “As TTKD, we have a mission to support what is being done correctly and to say what is wrong. Unfortunately, the number of rehabilitated mines in Turkey is very small, and for this reason we consider this project initiated by YK Enerji very important. We have become a follower of the project, which we believe will be an example for our country, and we have undertaken the task of supervision. Every month, our experts from the scientific committee will come to the field to conduct an examination and prepare a report. We will also share this with the public.” he spoke in the form of.
Stating that the level of development of countries is measured by the energy consumed per capita, and civilization has developed thanks to mining, Istanbul Technical University Vice-Chancellor Prof. Dr. Mustafa Kumral said that it can be done at a maximum depth of 7-8 kilometers all over the world, the world average is 2.5 kilometers, and mining is done at 250 meters in Turkey. “As a country, we are engaged in marble making, stone quarrying and coal mining in certain regions. We also boast of several copper January stoves. However, 60 of the 70 elements detected in the world are found in our country." Kumral stated that it is not correct to show mining and the environment as opposites to each other. Kumral continued his words: "We need to solve this vicious circle, and while doing so, we need to raise public awareness. We will operate the mines; while doing this, we will work with new generation environmental technologies. We should act together with the disciplines that will manage environmental engineering, climate engineering and rehabilitation processes while making mining projects.
“We are producing new materials from mine wastes”
Prof. from Muğla Sıtkı Koçman University. Dr. Taki Güler stated that technology should be used to minimize the environmental impacts of mining today. Güler said, "One of the most important issues is the transformation of mining wastes by evaluating them with technology. Another issue is that the products produced by mines should not become waste after completing their service life and should be brought to the circular economy. We evaluate marble waste and chrome waste at the university and make them more value-added. We can use this waste in different industries and produce new products,”he said.
January September Dokuz Eylül University Faculty Member Prof. Stating that the rehabilitation of mines consists of different stages. Dr. Çağatay Pamukçu said, "First of all, the ecosystem inventory needs to be determined well, and then the stability of the site should be ensured. He stressed that waste disposal, reclamation of water flow paths and drainage channels and soil management should also be carried out. Pamukçu stated that the region should be reforested in accordance with geographical and climatic conditions and said, “According to the climatic conditions and the structure of the field, 1-2 years of monitoring and maintenance are also of great importance. Unsuccessful plantings need to be renewed, preventing the emergence of weeds. A successful rehabilitation is possible with the correct implementation of all these studies,”he said.
"The rehabilitation project was designed according to the priorities of nature”
Assoc. who is the consultant of the rehabilitation project. Dr. Sultan Gündüz said that the rehabilitation work they started with YK Enerji will extend until the end of 2025. ”An impact is being left in every area that is intervened, and it is necessary to resolve this impact with nature's own mechanisms,“ Gündüz said, continuing his speech: "We have applied the principles of environmental sustainability in this project. We believe that the project should meet the needs of nature and the people of the region. We have stepped into a process where the perspective of ecosystem restoration has been questioned again. In particular, I would like to point out that plants also have a sociology. There is a vital value that each plant adds to the other plant around it. So, we're not just talking about reforestation here, we're talking about a large ecosystem.”
Husamlar Mine January afforestation works have started
YK Enerji launched Turkey's largest nature restoration project with the theme of “Breathing into the Future” on November 11, National Afforestation Day and planted 8 thousand saplings in Hüsamlar Mine Quarry. it is aimed to plant 3 million plants and trees in the rehabilitation area, which will reach a total of 1200 hectares by the end of 2025.