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Abstract

Several of the mineral belts of Southeast Asia pass through Thailand and knowledge of the ore types and metalliferous potential of Thailand may be key to understanding the metallo-genesis of the Southeast Asia region. In 2004, the mining and quarrying sector of Thailand contributed 2.29% to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and in 2006 the most valuable minerals produced were coal, gold, gypsum, limestone and zinc (Wu 2008). Minerals and their mineral products have played an important part in the development of the infrastructure and the economy of Thailand in recent years, coming third after agriculture and tourism. The statistics for the mining of metalliferous minerals and the quantities of some derived mineral products in Thailand between 2001 and 2007 are summarized in Table 17.1. In several instances, rising local demand for a mineral product far exceeds domestic mine output (e.g., the production of steel from iron ore and of antimony) and the shortfall is made up by the import of scrap and mineral ores for processing in the smelter industry. On the other hand, tin mining was for many decades an important activity in Thailand but has declined in recent years in response to reduced international demand. The closure of the majority of the former tin mines has prevented the Thai mining sector benefiting from the recent rise in global metal demand and prices, although the well-established tin smelter industry continues in business and produces tin products for the domestic and overseas markets through the

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