The Royal Thai Department of Mineral Resources was established on 1 January 1891 by King Chulalongkorn the Great (King Rama V) under the name The Royal Department of Mines and Geology (RDMG). In the early phases, the department's responsibilities were only in the field of mining management, i.e., granting of tin mine concession. The mining bill had been prepared for a decade, since the foundation, and the first Mining Act was promulgated in 1901.
|The primary wealth of tin ores in Thailand denied the necessity of geological exploration. Four decades after the establishment of RDMG, the geological survey division was set up and the main missions were then gradually extended, covering the exploration and development of geological resources.|
|Throughout its history, DMR has been under various offices due to changes in governmental policies. During which it was put under the administration of five ministries and in 1941 its name was changed to The Royal Department of Mines.|
|In 1961 the nation's First Economic Development Plan was launched to serve as a central framework for Thailand national development. According to this plan, the department was transferred to the Ministry of National Development in 1965 under the current name of "The Department of Mineral Resources".|
|Following the Third National Economic and Social Development Plan, the department was transferred to the Ministry of Industry in 1972 after the Ministry of National Development had been dissolved. Thirty years in the Ministry of Industry, the Department of Mineral Resources expanded its responsibilities and scope of services to cover all major functions affiliated with the development of mineral, petroleum and groundwater resources.|
|The reorganization of the Department of Mineral Resources on 3 October 2002 following the bureaucratic system reform resulted in the move of the department to the newly established Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, and the emerging of three new departments branching off of the Department of Mineral Resources, namely the Department of Groundwater Resources under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, the Department of Primary Industries and Mines under the Ministry of Industry, and the Department of Mineral Fuels under the newly established Ministry of Energy.|