May 10, 2011

Thai mining company prepares to export billions USD worth of coal from Myanmar

A Thai coal mining company, Saraburi, a subsidiary of Ital-Thai that was granted a 30 year coal concession in Shan State East’s Mongkok sub-township, Monghsat township, 70km north of Thailand’s Chiangrai border.

The company plans to transport coal shipments from the Mongkok mine through Shan State and through areas in northern Thailand to the city of Saraburi in central Thailand where it will be used as fuel in cement factories.

The Myanmar government had made a condition for Saraburi to construct a new route across the border despite the existence of a shorter 70-80 km route inside Myanmar’s Tachilek to Thailand’s Maesai, in exchange for the coal concession.

The road is proposed to be built across Maejok on the Myanmar side of the border to Thailand’s Hmong Kaolang village, Mae Fa Luang district. It will be around 68 km inside Myanmar and 77 km inside Thailand until it connects with the national highway at Pasang, between Maesai and Chiangrai. The existing Mongkok-Tachilek-Mae Sai road is 70-80 kilometers long.

The proposed road would be able to transport between 2,000-5,000 tons of coal per day. The deposit in Mongkok boasts at least 150 million tons of raw coal, one third found to be Grade A. It would take 40 years long to deplete the fields even with 270 ten wheelers working each day to transport, according to an official from the company. The total value is estimated at 270,000 million baht (US $ 9 billion).

The construction of the project is ongoing since mid April to date, according to local sources.

Source: Shan Herald