Thailand’s National Environment Board has recommended the renewal of rock quarry concessions in reserve forest areas for Saraburi cement factories. “The Board understands mining in ecologically sensitive areas is bad for the environment, but we cannot ignore the importance of economic development, “ said geologist Mr Prinya. “ The proposed conditions will enable mining to coexist with nature and environmental protection.” The conditions include the payment of higher fees, the reforestation of the area and the construction of reservoirs.
In practical terms, this means half of the area would have to be replanted and the reservoirs built by the concessions’ expiry in 20 years’ time, according to Prinya Nutalai, advisor to the Board. The quarry concession covers 40,000 rai in the Phra Phutthabat and Kaeng Koi districts and is used by Siam Cement Industry, Asia Cement plc and Nakhon Luang Cement.