Reserves of lignite coal in northwestern Turkey have increased to 1.5 billion tons after discovery of new coalbeds.
Kemal Degirmendereli, secretary-general of the Trakya Miners' Solidarity Association, told the A.A Thursday that the reserves took place in Uzunkopru, Kesan and Meric towns of Edirne and in Malkara and Saray towns of Tekirdag in northwestern Turkey.
"Lignite coal reserves in the region have increased to 1.5 billion tons after discovery of new coalbeds. Those reserves are enough to meet energy demands of the region for the next 50 years. The value of the reserves is about 50 billion USD," he said.
"Development of the mining sector is of vital importance for employment in the region. There are 4 thousand miners and 60 mining engineers working in the lignite coal mines in the region. Number of miners can increase to 15 thousand as a result of new investments," he said.
"Our annual production of lignite coal is about 800 thousand tons. Our aim is to increase this amount up to 3 million tons," Degirmendereli added.