In the past couple of months a new quarry has started operating in the karst to the north of Krabi town. Although no large caves are known in the area it is near the internationally important archaeological sites of Tham Lang Rongrian and Tham Moh Khiew.
The quarry is on a limestone tower at 47P 487275 0901760 (WGS84) and reconnaissance archaeological investigations have shown that the tower has 19 caves which have a wealth of pottery and other material.
The red box was declared an area of outstanding archaeological interest (Tham Lang Rongrian is in the most northerly hill within the box). The quarry company has permission to quarry the small tower in the yellow pentagon, but are illegally quarrying the hill within the red circle. The area at immediate risk is within the yellow oval, but the range of hills marked by the blue line is threatened. In addition the quarry company has bought the 66 hectares marked in red and have closed the road (in green) between points A and B.
A campaign, 'SOSKrabi' has been mobilised to stop the illegal quarrying. They have set up websites in Thai, French and English to raise awareness and solicit signatures for a petition. A dossier of documents will be collated and, along with the petition, will be sent to various Thai authorities at both the local and national level.
Normally I would be pessimistic about foreigners being able to influence a Thai company working in an extractive industry. However, it is encouraging that Thai academics and local residents are leading the campaign against the quarry.
The SOS Krabi campaign would appreciate any support you can give, either through the online petition or with any advice that you may be able to give on how to preserve the karst.