udon thani potash
Anyone with much familiarity with Udon Thani probably has at one point or another been exposed to at least the mention of potash in association with the Province, As Wikipedia says in its entry on Udon Thani City:
Asia Pacific Resources, a wholly owned subsidiary of Italian-Thai Development PLC, owns the concession to the Udon Thani potash mines and plans to develop them. According to press reports, Udon Thani has enough potash to mine two million tonnes per year for 25 years.
And in Wikipedia’s entry for Udon Thani Province:
In recent years the province has received international attention due to the discovery of a large potash deposit in the area and some anticipate that the region will become a major exporter of the mineral. Beginning the mining process of gaining licensure has been substantially delayed due to public opposition to the mine. Many of the villagers who live directly above the proposed mine site have expressed concern that the company and its Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) have not adequately addressed concerns of salinization of groundwater and soil or land subsidence. Both would threaten the economic stability of local communities that rely primarily on income derived from rice farming.
What I have generally heard — apart from the expected glowing hype from mining interests and invested politicians, as well as those who foresee a personal benefit to the mining — is nicely encapsulated by this passage from a Steve Graham article published in UdonMap this past November 25 titled Udon Thani Potash Project:
NGOs have taken up the case for the local communities involved and publicised a list of grievances including land rights violations, environmental damage due to initial exploration, lack of informed consent, bad communication between agencies and local residents, perceived lack of credibility of initial Environmental Impact Assessment, fears of contamination, loss of livelihood, mental anxiety, community division and potential loss of culture. All these subjects were taken from one report by the Educational Network for Global and Grassroots exchange (ENGAGE) published in 2003.
The UdonMap forum of course has brought up discussions about the proposed mining in the past, since no one in the area is going to be unaffected. A forum thread begun July 4, 2010, is an example — Udon Potash mining status — it became three pages in length, with final commentary that has carried (at present) right into December 2011.
A 2004 presentation at the International Fertilizer Industry Association (IFA) and International Trade Conference held in October 3-5 in Dubai (United Arab Emirates) that was titled Potash Developments in Udon Thani, Thailand gave an excellent background to the project, along with the expected upbeat rhetoric:
The benefits to the people of the project area and to the country as a whole are vast. The balance of trade will improve the balance of trade by some USD 6 billion over the mining life of Udon South. It is anticipated there will be some 800 jobs in the mine and associated operations together with 5000 indirect jobs created in the local area in support industries. Taxes and the government’s share of the profits will be in excess of USD one billion. Royalties of about USD 180 million will be distributed in accordance to Thai law to the provincial government and local Councils of the area as well as to the national government. The northeast of Thailand, where the Udon project is the located, is considered to be one of the poorest areas of the country with a large percentage of the population having to move out and work in other Provinces or other countries and repatriate earnings home. The combination of jobs and local allocation of royalties will make a very substantial difference to this area.
The slides that were a part of that presentation were rich with maps and graphs — provided the link still works, they are accessible here.
A more recent and much more technical presentation (in geological terms) was given at an International Conference (GEOTHAI’ 2007) that was held (I believe) November 21-22 (2007) in Bangkok at the Emerald Hotel: GEOLOGY OF THE UDON THANI POTASH (SYLVINITE) DEPOSITS WITH AN OVERVIEW FOR DEVELOPMENT OF A SUSTAINABLE POTASSIUM RESOURCE FOR THAILAND. I won’t bother to quote anything from it, but will explain that it was eight pages in length, and included a couple of general maps and an approximated stratigraphical portrayal of the Udon South “potash deposit.”
An excellent illustration of the resistance to the mining project is in this January 22, 2007, article titled Digging for Potash, Mining Companies Encounter An Iron Will. (It was republished January 29 here.)
More recently, a February 23, 2010, article titled Udon Thani, Thailand: Learning “development” from villagers rising up against potash mine makes apparent that the local opposition is still strong.
Here are some related references to the potash mining project:
Asia Pacific Resources, a totally owned subordinate of Italian-Thai Development PLC, owns the allowance to the Udon Thani potash mines and plans to expand them. Udon Thani has great reserves of potash to mine 2 million …
Publish Date: 11/24/2011 12:57
The above reference is not unique — here it is again:
Asia Pacific Resources, a wholly owned subsidiary of Italian-Thai Development PLC, owns the concession to the Udon Thani potash mines and plans to develop them. According to press reports, Udo Thani has enough …
Publish Date: 09/20/2007 10:10
I will close this post with a selection of various past articles about protests, as well as a news report or two and a couple mere mentions:
Yet, Canadian banks, insurance companies and pension funds – including the Canadian Pension Plan – continue to invest in corporations implicated in the proposed Udon Thani Potash project. Indeed, there is a strong sense …
Publish Date: 11/18/2008 0:00
This paper examines Thai laws under which Asia Pacific Potash Corporation (majority shares owned by a Canadian company: Asia Pacific Resources) will develop and operate it’s planned potash mine in Udon Thani …
Publish Date: 04/03/2005 21:46
In the immediate future, the passage of the bill could give the green light to highly controversial potash mining projects in Thailand’s northeastern Udon Thani and Chayaphum provinces. For 5 years the bill has been …
Publish Date: 04/03/2005 21:51
The first individual protests against the potash mine planned for Udon Thani occurred during the surveying and exploration period beginning in 1993. Since then local opposition to the mine has gained considerable …
Publish Date: 04/03/2005 21:52
(September 24, 2002 — Bangkok/Ottawa) Vancouver-based Asia Pacific Resources Ltd. (APR) is facing both constitutional challenges and vigorous community opposition to its plans to exploit the Udon Thani potash …
Publish Date: 04/03/2005 21:52
(Bangkok Post Oct, 16 2002) Furthermore, while other potash deposits are typically mined at 1000m below the surface, the potash deposit ‘in Udon Thani is at a depth of only 350m. Imitially villagers weren’t informed nor were …
Publish Date: 04/03/2005 21:54
The environmental impact assessment study of the potash mining project in Udon Thani was “terrible” and local people should take the agency which approved it to court, said a Bangkok senator. Kaewsan Atipho said local …
Publish Date: 04/03/2005 21:59
Thai Government Reviews Granting Mining Lease to Canadian Potash Company – Hundreds of Villagers Visit Industry Ministry Several hundred villagers from the Udon Thani Environmental Conservation Group gathered in …
Publish Date: 04/03/2005 22:01
Urban residents join rally against APPC’s potash mining application. Udon Thani, Thailand June 29, 2003 – Hundreds of local community members from the Udon Thani Environmental Conservation Group marched in Udon …
Publish Date: 04/03/2005 22:01
A problem-solving committee for the Udon Thani potash mine, for which AsiaPacific Potash Corporation (APPC) holds the exploration concession, will meet next week to work out strategies to promote public participation.
Publish Date: 09/06/2009 20:40
Hundreds of protesters yesterday surrounded Udon Thani Rajabhat University president Charoon Thavornchak and threw betel juice at him to express their opposition to a potash-mining project in the northeastern province.
Publish Date: 03/21/2007 18:04
Udon potash forum a farce, environmentalist says. Italian-Thai Development has been trying to buy support for a controversial mining project in Udon Thani that villagers have been fighting for more than a decade, …
Publish Date: 03/22/2007 23:19
Northeastern Thailand’s Udon Thani province has also been identified as one of the world’s richest potash reserves and could potentially become a major exporter of the mineral. Mining of this area, however, has been delayed by public …
Publish Date: 10/09/2007 18:51
Meanwhile, the Bangkok Post reports that Italian-Thai Development Plc is looking to sell 15 per cent of its planned potash mine in Udon Thani, located south of the Laotian border. The mine will cost US$800 million and will produce three …
Publish Date: 06/08/2011 21:53
The company acquired a potash mining concession and business in Udon Thani from Asia Pacific Potash Corporation (APPC) last year. It has not been able to not start mining because of opposition from conservation groups …
Publish Date: 08/21/2007 8:29
(Protestors against the Udon Thani potash mine–they jab police officers in the junk with nails attached to flagpoles and then walk over them to get to the Prime Minister…… and I’m pretty sure they’re secret ninjas.) posted by …
Publish Date: 10/07/2006 5:39
udon thani potash
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