The Ministry of Industry recently designated four areas in the Andaman Sea for diamond and tin exploration and is accepting bids from the private sector until August 18 1999. The four offshore areas lie off the provinces of Rayong, Phang-nga and Phuket.

Applicants for rights to explore and mine in any of these areas must have registered capital of at least 50 million baht, but may be registered as a company under Thai or foreign law. Separate applications have to be filed for exploration in each area. Bids are required to be made in two parts including (i) evidence of the applicant's qualifications and a technical work plan, and (ii) a list of the benefits to the government. Applicants also have to submit a bid bond of 1 million baht.

The successful bidders will be required to sign a contract with the Department of Mineral Resources that will include provisions on prospecting, special prospecting licences, mining leases and transfer of rights.

Copies of the ministry's announcement are available in English and include a map of the four areas and details concerning the qualifications companies must have to be eligible for rights to explore and mine the regions. Companies wishing to apply must register with, and receive application documents from, the Department of Mineral Resources not later than August 17 1999.

For further information on this topic please contact Albert T Chandler at Chandler & Thong-ek by telephone (+66 2 266 6485) or by fax (+66 2 266 6483) or by e-mail ([email protected]).

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