SARABURI - An illegal operation mining rare earth metals was raided on Tuesday after the Customs Department earlier detained nine containers containng 200 tonnes of mis-labelled dickite worth around 100 million baht.
Customs officials said the exporter wrongly declared the consignment as pyrophyllite, which attracts a royalty of only 14-baht per tonne. Dickite, a rare earth, sells for 300,000-500,000 baht a tonne but its mining is not allowed here and therefore no royalty is set.
Authorities tracked down the owner of the shipment, Pattara Charoen Mining Co. The company obtained the dickite from a mine in tambon Cha-om of Kaeng Khoi district.
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