Thailand is advancing towards becoming a key player in the EV industry. It plans to start lithium production in its southwest in the next two years. Lithium is vital for EV batteries. This step is crucial as Thailand builds its EV production sector. The sector has drawn $1.44 billion in investments, notably from Chinese car manufacturers.

Pan Asia Metals is central to this effort. They are nearing the submission of mining licenses for the Reung Kiet project in Phang-Nga province. This project encompasses the promising Reung Kiet and Bang I Tum sites. Paul Lock, Pan Asia’s Chairman and Managing Director, expressed optimism about commencing lithium chemical production from Reung Kiet by early 2026.

Lithium, a crucial component for EV batteries, positions Thailand uniquely as it concurrently develops an EV production industry. This industry has attracted substantial investments, including $1.44 billion from Chinese carmakers.

The Department of Primary Industries and Mines (DPIM) in Thailand estimates that the Reung Kiet site could yield approximately 164,500 metric tons of lithium carbonate. This amount is sufficient for over 1 million EV batteries of 50 kilowatt-hour capacity. Mining at this site is expected to begin in about two years.

Further, the Bang I Tum mineral resources are projected to be significantly larger than those at Reung Kiet, potentially enhancing Thailand’s role in the lithium market and aligning with its ambitions as an EV regional hub.

However, the total lithium resources in Thailand and the viable amount for mining remain uncertain. Thailand’s venture into lithium production aligns with its goal to transform 30% of its annual vehicle production into EVs by 2030.

Supporting this endeavor, Thailand’s Board of Investment has backed 38 battery production projects, encompassing EVs and other uses, with a total investment of 23.6 billion baht ($659.40 million).

The Thai government is also exploring lithium in new areas, including amending regulations to facilitate private firms like Matsa Resources to conduct studies on agricultural land. Matsa currently holds two special prospecting licenses in Thailand, with over 100 applications pending.

Image Source: Thaiger