MTA was founded in June 22, 1935 according to law no: 2804 approved in June 14, 1935 by the Parliament and published in the Official Gazette in June 22, 1935.

With the establishment of the Republic of Turkey, in an effort to improve mining sector and exploit mineral resources by the government, “Oil Exploration and  Exploitation” and “Gold Exploration and Exploitation” were founded as two independent organizations under the ministry of Economy in 1933.

Then, The institue of Mineral Research And Exploration was founded in June 22, 1935 according to law no: 2804 with the aim of exploration and exploitation of mineral reserves employing geological methods.
The institute, was entrusted with the task of exploring mineral resources and location of quarries, finding them and determine the suitibility of its exploiting by carrying out required surveys, chemical and technological analysis, and also train and provide qualified staff for the sector.

The institute of Mineral Research and Exploration (MTA) first in an apartment, opposite the Ankara Courthall, with 5 units which are, Accountancy, labs, Coal, Oil and Metals with a few personnel each, and then moved to Akköprü facilities.
Until 1939, Metal, Oil and Coal groups performed their works. Then, Associated Technical Works Division (YTİK) was founded to deal with maps, pictures etc. After a while, with the participation of geologists and prospectors, Field exploration and Survey group (SAM) was founded. Metal and Coal groups were united as Minreral Research Group (MAG) and carried out exploration and survey.

In 1940, Geological Survey and Prospection (JEP) and Analysis and Experiment (JEP) were also added to MTA.
In SAM Group, instead of Geology and Prospection, drilling gained importance and splitting operation also involved in this group and Technical Operation Group was founded. Then in 1951, Mineral Survey Department, in 1954 Geology Department were founded.

With the rapid development of MTA Institute, Akköprü Facilities failed to meet reqirements, MTA moved to its current place, Balgat Campus in 1967. Mineral Survey Branch divided into separate divisions as Geophysics Division, Radioactive Minerals, Coal Division and Industrial Raw Materials. Geology Division separated into Oil and Geothermal Energy, and TTL Division separated into  Technology Division. In,  1969, Plan and Project Division, In 1972, Machinery Supply Division were founded. Divisions were changed to Departments with decree no: 7/11801 in May 31, 1976. With the same decree, Feasibility Survey Unit was separated from Planning and Coordination and changed into a Department. In addition, 12 District Offices were founded in order to help field studies. The Institute was changed to “Mineral Research and Exploration General Directorate” with the provisional clause no: 5 of the statutory decree no: 186 in Dec, 13, 1983.

MTA Has performed survey all around Turkey. During field studies, lots of mineral resources and ore deposits were discovered and their reserves were improved. Therefore It greatly contributed to the economy of Turkey and Earthsciences.
Between the years of 1935 and 1950, oil gained fundemental importance and drilling and survey were performed around Trakya, İskenderun, Adana and Southeast Anatolia Region. Oil was discovered in Raman and Garzan locations and their reserves were determined. Then, Turkish Petroleum Corporation was founded to build oil refinery with the capasity of 6250 barrels daily in Batman.

In those years, MTA worked under very difficult conditions. In the first years, due to the lack of roads, horses and mules were used, and also tents and village houses were used to accommodate the personnel.

Later on, mineral exploration was carried out throughout the country, raw material sources, which are the basic imput of many establishments, were discovered by the meticulous work of MTA. MTA contributed to the exploration of raw materials used by organizations with global competitive power such as iron-steel, aluminium, ferro-chrome, glass ceramic, paper, cement etc.
Besides mineral exploration, MTA has also pioneered in geological research of Turkey, and  brought a wealth of knowledge to earthsciences.

  • MTA also contributed to the development of the Republic as a social organization sharing its knowledge, experience, culture and facilities between regions.
  • Villagers were told about the importance of mining on development of the country.
  • Villagers were employed in camps temporarily.
  • To meet demands of MTA camps, villagers produced more than their needs and sold them.
  • After exploratory drilling works, Many regions had the opportunity to meet drinking water requirement.
  • Particularly in East and Southeast Anatolia Regions, MTA contributed to the opening of schools, building roads, moreover, MTA staff  worked time off as teachers.
  • During field research, villagers were treated in infirmary for scorpion and snake bites and other health issues and their medication were supplied.
  • After the work in a location, available facilities and buildings were granted to education and health organizations.

MTA General Directorate, which founded in 1935 with only 38 personnel in an apartment, today, with great deal of experienced staff, a large machinery park and labs, continue to its services and contributes to the sector.