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    Strive for unified Turkish bauxite market standard
    ----Interview with Nesim Funes
    General Manager
    CTC Energy & Ming Co.
    CTC Energy & Mining is the biggest bauxite miner & exporter founded in 2018 by a team with significant mining & international trade experiences from major operations in Turkey. The company follows its management philosophy of prioritizing employees' satisfaction and occupational health and safety through an ecologically balanced and environmentally friendly approach.

    Asian Metal: Thanks for joining the interview. What is the main business of CTC Energy & Mining?

    Nesim Funes: CTC Energy & Mining Company was established in 2018 by 3 individuals with main business covering renewable energy and mining like bauxite as well as iron ore. The company has been actively increasing the market share since its establishment. The company is holding mining licensee in southeast Turkey (Islahiye Region ) . The production capacity reaches 2 million tons a year and CTC has become by far the largest bauxite exporter in Turkey with export business to main markets such as Europe, USA, as well as China.

    Asian Metal: From last year, China's demand for monohydrate bauxite from Turkey increased. How do you think of the reasons behind that?

    Nesim Funes: Specifically, Turkish bauxite is mono-hydrate baux. The Al2O3 quality is higher than other sources. Obviously, the main reason is that the demand for bauxite with higher quality is increasing in China. Our company would export more this year. We actually could produce bauxite Al2O3 50-63%, SiO2 3-10%, depending on the requirement and price. CTC mainly ships bauxite Al2O3 56%min SiO2 8%max at present.

    Asian Metal: From early this year, the shipping freight jumped. How do you face the challenge?

    Nesim Funes: The impact of freight jump has been dramatic on the industry. We tried to avoid by shipping cape size to be able to be competitive, 170,000-200,000t for big shipment. We are the only one shipping cape-size shipment to China from Turkey now. We arranged three big vessels in total last year and two big vessels so far this year. If there is enough demand, we could ship one big vessel every month. The present freight by cape-size shipments keeps at around USD22/t, but that for panamax shipments stand higher than USD30/t.

    Asian Metal: Because of the increased freight, how do you anticipate the bauxite price from Turkey in H2, 2021?

    Nesim Funes: It could be USD47-50/dt CIF China for bauxite Al2O3 55%min SiO2 8%max, depending on the freight market.

    Asian Metal: How many tones did you produce in 2020? And What is the target volume in 2021? When did you start bauxite export to China? How about the market share to China?

    Nesim Funes: We produced around 1.3 million tons in 2020 and around 800,000t so far this year. If the demand is good, we could produce 1.7-1.8 million tons this year. We started exporting to China in 2019 and the quantity increased gradually. We aim to ship one cape size vessel a month. The market share to China in 2020 accounted for around 60%.

    Asian Metal: Could you briefly introduce the different applications of bauxite from Turkey?

    Nesim Funes: Turkish bauxite is mono-hydrate bauxite and the main consumption areas are alumina, steel industry as well as cement industry. CTC is actively exploring the global market in those areas and is exporting to all the consumption areas.

    Asian Metal: As the biggest exporter to China in Turkey, how do you think of the total bauxite reserves in Turkey?

    Nesim Funes: The total reserves are around 400 million tons. CTC is holding 20 percent of this reserves with roughly 86 million tons.

    Asian Metal: Could you please share some suggestions on the bauxite industry development in Turkey?

    Nesim Funes: Quality is the big concern. Turkish bauxite's quality is not stable. So our main focus is to establish well-maintained lab and quality control team to set standard for the market. The inspection and testing standards of our lab stay in accordance with SGS China standards so that we could make sure of similar loading and discharging quality. We assume the single quality standard of Turkish bauxite will be formed very soon.

    Asian Metal: Thanks again for joining the interview. Wish you a big progress in global bauxite development!

    Nesim Funes: Thank you very much.
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