Previous Mining and Exploration
The project area was part of a major tin mining region up until the mid-1980s. There is little detailed information available regarding previous exploration and mining in the project area. Up to the late 1980s southern Thailand was a globally significant tin producer. In the Phang Nga Province from 1965 to 1990 recorded tin concentrate production was approximately 300,000 tonnes. Much of the tin production was derived from alluvial or offshore sources, however, there were some primary deposits being mined.
In the late 1960s a joint Thai/British Geological Survey study was undertaken in the region (Garson et al, 1969). It was during this study that the lithium bearing mineral lepidolite was identified in weathered pegmatites that were being mined for tin at the Reung Kiet and Bang I Tum open pit mines as well as at other mines in close proximity.
The 1960s study conducted geological mapping, geochemical analysis and mineralogical descriptions of various tailings, concentrate and rock samples as well as lepidolite beneficiation studies. The lepidolite was found to contain 3-4% Li2O. With significant focus on two key tin mines, Reung Kiet and Bang I Tum, the survey stated:
There is little recorded exploration activity in the project area since the 1960s study.