The Investing News Network recently had the chance to catch up with Mickey Fulp, the Mercenary Geologist, to get his thoughts on what the attempted coup in Turkey would mean for the mining industry in the country, and for metals investors.
On July 15, military forces attempted a coup d’etat in Turkey. The coup failed, but still led to thousands of arrests and the declaration of a state of emergency in the country.
That state of uncertainty has no doubt left a number of metals investors wondering what to think. Turkey holds a number of world class gold and copper deposits, and there are several North American-listed companies operating in the country.
Last week, the Investing News Network had the chance to catch up with Mickey Fulp, the Mercenary Geologist, to get his thoughts on what the attempted coup in Turkey would mean for the mining industry in the country, and for metals investors.
Watch or read the interview below to see his thoughts:
INN: We’re here today to talk about the attempted military coup in Turkey. What effects do you think that’s had on the mining industry in the country?
MF: Well, certainly it will affect the mining industry because it adds a bit of geopolitical risk that we weren’t quite cognizant of in Turkey before. It has a history of coups, two or three in the ‘60s and ‘70s. I think two succeeded and one failed, if memory serves. We haven’t had seen this sort of thing happen in a NATO country before, even with the Arab Springs. So, this is of a concern to any company involved in Turkey.
INN: What do you think the significance is, of it being the first time that a NATO country has experienced a military coup?
MF: Well, it’s a member of NATO, it’s a little different than most members of NATO in the fact that it’s mainly a Muslim society. It borders partly in Europe, partly in Asia. From that point of view, it does affect NATO. Personally I’m not a really big proponent of NATO, I think it’s served its day in the Soviet era but since then, as an American we fund it to the benefit of Europeans. I don’t think we get a lot of ‘bang for our buck there,’ if you will.
INN: Okay. So how do you think this is going to effect investor sentiment for foreign companies operating in Turkey? Mining companies.
MF: Certainly it’s going to knock those companies down a bit. No one likes geopolitical risk. In the boom years, from say 2003 to 2013, we saw a lot of geopolitical risk affect markets, resource nationalism. I think you have to add Turkey to that equation now.
INN: Speaking of the geopolitical risk, gold didn’t really react to this event. Why do you think that is?
MF: As you and I talked on Friday as we were coming back from Yukon, I think that we expected the coup, if it succeeded for gold to react to the positive side on Monday. It didn’t, it knocked gold down a bit. We’ll have to see how this plays out. I don’t think it’s over in Turkey. In my mind, I view a fascist regime which borders on Islamic fundamentalism, and you have a whole other part of Turkish society, a lot of educated people who want Turkey to become more secular. We’ve seen this play out in many muslim countries over the last few years. It’s not over in Turkey.
INN: Okay, interesting. And how well endowed is the country, in terms of mineral deposits?
MF: Significantly endowed. There are major world class gold deposits, copper deposits of various geologic environments, a very nice uranium deposit in the central part of the country. It sits on a plate boundary, that’s why they have big earthquakes over there every once in awhile. And we all know, as good geologists, that those plate boundaries are where world class mineral deposits are formed. So, very strongly endowed in terms of mineral deposits.
INN: With that in mind, what should investors watch for, going forward?
MF: I think you’ve just got to watch for additional geopolitical risk of how this is going to play out. I own a uranium company, has a very robust ISR (in-situ recovery) uranium deposit in that country, it’s—
INN: Which company is that?
MF: That’s Uranium Resources Inc. (NASDAQ:URRE), listed on the Nasdaq. So, it’s of a concern to me at this point.
INN: Okay. Thank you for joining me Mickey.
MF: Hey, thanks Teresa.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Teresa Matich, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.
Editorial Disclosure: The Investing News Network does not guarantee the accuracy or thoroughness of the information reported in the interviews it conducts. The opinions expressed in these interviews do not reflect the opinions of the Investing News Network.