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I was approached a couple of years ago to investigate the situation with regard to potash mining in the North East of Thailand.

Of course I am an expert on mining. I come from South Yorkshire in the UK which is (sorry was) a major coal producing area. Many years ago I sustained a nasty injury to my coccyx on a visit with the local Chamber of Commerce to Silverwood Colliery. No I wasn't mangled my some mammoth coal cutting machine or trapped under heaps of debris. I slipped on some soap in the showers after the visit. A painful experience let me tell you.

So from the North of England to the North of Thailand. The Australian mining company asked me to look into the local reactions to a recent environmental impact survey. In addition they wanted to know wjhat the Thai Governments position was. The answer was simple - money.

Both the local population and the government were set to make a mint from the mining project. Yes there was of course a furore from the environmental NGO's who were probably worried about some rare species of field crab, butterfly or endangered insect. The only way the insect was endangered is from the locals eating it. They love fried insects, a tasty Isaan snack.

I returned late last year and the locals have certainly benefited. New pick ups and satellite dishes adorn the wooden houses surrounding the project. The potash mine has certainly made a local impact.
There are lots of opportunities for foreign investment in Thailand mining projects. Here is some advice I came across from the Australian Government about mining opportunities in Thailand

It is timely for Australian exporters with expertise in the mining, mineral exploration and environmental management areas to raise awareness in Thailand about their skills.
The following areas have been identified as potential business opportunities for Australian companies:
mineral exploration (geophysics, mapping, diamond drilling, tunnelling)

  • mining software
  • mining software
  • engineering services
  • environmental services and equipment
  • lignite mining and overburden operation
  • mining equipment

There are also prospects for gold, copper, diamonds, lead, iron ore and potash.
Above courtesy of

Here in Thailand I have had some mining experience of a different kind. A year ago I was the expat manager of a tin in the south of Thailand for a few days. Not a real tin mine and not a real manager. I played a small part in The Tin Mine - a Thai movie which won Thai film of the year last year.

The Tin mines have all but closed down now. Here is a report from the US Library of Congress part of a report about the mining industry in Thailand.

Since the mid-1970s, the tin-mining industry has generated a large amount of political controversy, social unrest, and illegal activity that continued into the mid-1980s. Onshore mining operations were carried on mostly by small miners who were predominantly Thai. Offshore operations included a number of large dredges owned by both Thai enterprises and foreign firms, as well as thousands of suction boats. Both kinds of operations were supposed to be registered with local provincial authorities. The tin fields had attracted large numbers of the unemployed or persons seeking fortunes, however, who mined illegally. Reports of a new tin strike brought thousands of individuals to the area, resulting in such attendant social problems as claim jumping, forged registration certificates, frequent violence, and the like. -

Do you have a mining project in Thailand that interests you - send me an email



An Explosive Guy The Tin Mine Barite Mining in Thailand
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