Noted as one of the 20 major economies of the world, Turkey is a semiarid plateau between the Eurasian and the African continents. With a surface area of 780,000 km2 (300,000 sq miles), it supports a population of 70 million people. While the mining history of Turkey can be traced back as far as 7,000 BC, mining currently generates only 2 percent of Turkey’s gross national product. Turkey has 77 of the 90 principal minerals that are mined worldwide. Currently, some 5,000 mine occurrences have been discovered and partially explored. These include deposits of copper, lead, zinc, iron, gold-silver, chromite, sepiolite, mercury, coal, soda ash, marble, zeolite, feldspar, magnesite and the world’s largest known borate deposits.