By Thai PBS
Thailand, March 25, 2016
The bill, in essence, empowers the state to manage mining operations for utmost benefits to the country and its people by taking into consideration economic and social development and environmental and health impacts.
Under the bill, the Minstry of Natural Resources and Environment and the Industry Ministry will jointly work out mining management master plan which will cover such activities as mining survey, ore deposit reserves, classification of mining areas and areas where mining activities are banned.
During the debate on the bill, Mr Wallop Tangkananurak said he supported the new mining bill because the country has had bad experiences of mining activities, citing the Klity and Pilok mines in Kanchanaburi which have threatened the livelihood of the local Karen people and the gold mine in Phichit province which has affected people living in close vicinity to the mine site.
Another NLA member, Mr Sanit Aksornkaew, said the two mining committees to be set up as required by the law are not sufficient. He suggested that more governmental units should get involved among them the Pollution Control Department, the Fishery Department, the Public Health Ministry and the Defence Ministry.
Industry Minister Atchaka Sibunruang told the assembly that extension of the concession contract for gold mining in Phichit province is pending studies from various parties concerned regarding impacts from mining activities.