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Thailand

Legislation

  • Minerals Act 2017
  • Enhancement and Conservation of the Environmental Quality Act 1974 (as amended)

Regulatory Risk Rating

Critical
Regulatory Risk

Regulatory Corruption Risk

Extremely High
Regulatory Corruption Risk

Corruption Exposure Risk

Moderate
Corruption Exposure Risk
Regulatory Risk Rating Factors Risk Level
First Come / First Serve Subscribe
Application Criteria Subscribe
Duration Subscribe
Right to Renew Subscribe
Competing Licences Subscribe
Mineral Coverage Subscribe
Right to Mine Subscribe
Criteria for Mining Rights Subscribe
Tenure Subscribe
Surface Rights Subscribe
Government Take Subscribe
Transfer Rights Subscribe
Change of Control Subscribe
EIA Process Subscribe
Power to Revoke Subscribe
Age of Legislation Subscribe
Other Factors Subscribe

It is almost impossible to navigate Thailand’s mining legislation without the guidance of local counsel, not least because there is an extensive suite of supplementary legislation and regulations in the form of orders, notifications, regulations and draft regulations from various government authorities which have some form of responsibility for the sector. Though there is an underlying mining law, investors and interested parties should be under no illusions that their interests are protected, as the law places little to no meaningful limitations on the ability of the government to act as it sees fit in relation to the exploration and mining of the country’s natural resources. The best we can say about the legislation is that it is relatively new, though this will be of no comfort to investors who find themselves or their operations on the wrong side of the country’s decision-makers or mineral policies.

Contents

Legislation

  • Minerals Act 2017
  • Enhancement and Conservation of the Environmental Quality Act 1974 (as amended)

Regulatory Risk Rating

Critical
Regulatory Risk

Regulatory Corruption Risk

Extremely High
Regulatory Corruption Risk

Corruption Exposure Risk

Moderate
Corruption Exposure Risk
Regulatory Risk Rating Factors Risk Level
First Come / First Serve Subscribe
Application Criteria Subscribe
Duration Subscribe
Right to Renew Subscribe
Competing Licences Subscribe
Mineral Coverage Subscribe
Right to Mine Subscribe
Criteria for Mining Rights Subscribe
Tenure Subscribe
Surface Rights Subscribe
Government Take Subscribe
Transfer Rights Subscribe
Change of Control Subscribe
EIA Process Subscribe
Power to Revoke Subscribe
Age of Legislation Subscribe
Other Factors Subscribe

Overview

Thailand is home to several minerals including tin, tungsten, niobium, tantalum, lead, zinc, gold and iron, as well as various non-metallic and industrial minerals. There are also believed to be significant areas of the country with mineral potential that have not yet been explored (Thailand Department of Mineral Resources). In recent years mineral production in the country has focused primarily on industrial minerals including limestone, gypsum and basalt, though according to the Department of Primary Industries and Mines, zinc and tin made up 46% of mineral exports in 2018. There have been issues in the country in relation to gold mining, following a decision to suspend the exploration and mining of gold in 2016. This was primarily due to on-going social, environmental and public health concerns around the one operating gold mine and the suspension resulted in an arbitration claim from Akara Resources – the Thai subsidiary of Australian company Kingsgate Consolidated and the operator of the mine in question. Changes to the legal framework, limitations on foreign ownership and land-use / environmental issues have also limited Thailand’s mining industry over the last five years, causing a slow-down in activity and a reduction in the production of most minerals. 

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