Thailand Lithium resource upgrade on Pan Asia's radar
Thailand Lithium resource upgrade on Pan Asia's radar

Thailand Lithium resource upgrade on Pan Asia's radar

  • 04-Apr-2023 11:51 AM
  • Journalist: Sasha Fernandes

Thailand: Pan Asia Metals is aiming for a Lithium resource upgrade at its Reung Kiet Lithium project in Thailand, after discovering promising hits of up to 1.27% Lithium oxide from a recent drilling campaign. The mining company is looking to upgrade its current mineral resource estimate of 10.4 million tonnes at 0.44% Lithium oxide to potentially yield around 113,000 tonnes of Lithium Carbonate equivalent. Results from the latest drilling program include a headline intercept of 20.95m running at 0.59% Lithium oxide from 102.4m, which also includes 3.15m at a solid 1.27% Lithium oxide from 118.5m.

Additionally, a further 21.5m with 0.55% Lithium oxide from 172m downhole has extended the mineralised envelope down dip, showing a favorable outlook for Pan Asia Metal's upcoming mining operations.

Pan Asia has been drilling at Reung Kiet to explore its prospective pegmatite swarm. The latest campaign involved drilling 56 holes for a total of nearly 11,000m along a 1km length. The drilling targeted both strike and down-dip extensions in order to upgrade the existing resource and infill previous intercepts. Pan Asia's initial resource estimate was based on the first 46 holes, and the results from the latest campaign will support an upcoming resource update. This update will be used in a pre-feasibility study to determine the project's technical and economic viability.

According to management, Reung Kiet had previously been a tin mining site, with operations having been ongoing since the early 1970s. The focus of the open-cut mine was on lepidolite-cassiterite-tantalite-rich pegmatite dykes, located at the northern limits of the deposit.

The management now believes that the Lithium extracted from lepidolite could potentially be one of the purest sources of battery-grade Lithium Carbonate and Lithium Hydroxide. Recent testing on ore sorting and metallurgical techniques has given the management reason to believe that there could be a decrease in both capital and operational expenses when processing ore from Reung Kiet.

73 per cent Lithium recovery was achieved, resulting in a 39 per cent sample yield at an average grade of 0.92 per cent. Unfortunately, 61 per cent of the feed had to be discarded as waste siltstone due to falling below the current resource cut-off grade of 0.25 per cent Lithium oxide. The processing efficiency nearly doubled as it rose from 0.50% Lithium oxide in the feed to 0.92% in the retained pegmatite.

Excitingly, initial metallurgical testwork yielded concentrated grades of about 3 per cent Lithium oxide and up to 78 per cent Lithium recoveries.

With these promising results in hand, Pan Asia has shifted its focus to its Bang I Tum prospect, which is only 8km away from Reung Kiet. The company has already deployed two drill rigs and plans to drill up to 15,000m to test a JORC-compliant exploration target of 8 to 14 million tonnes at a grade ranging from 0.5 per cent to 0.8 per cent Lithium oxide.

The company had a successful year in terms of rock chip samples at Bang I Tum, with 34 out of the 64 samples showing Lithium oxide levels above 1%, and one sample recording an impressive 2.62%. In late 2020, the company conducted mapping and sampling, and found a new exploration zone adjacent to and twice the size of the current exploration target, potentially doubling the current target area. Interestingly, the company also reported that the drill bit had found a lepidolite-bearing pegmatite in the new exploration zone.

Mercedes, the automotive behemoth, has announced that it will manufacture its latest flagship electric vehicle EQS in Thailand. The Thai government's favorable incentives to promote the production of EVs and their components has lured the company to set up operations in the country, making it a powerhouse for EV production in the region. This development is significant for Pan Asia, the sole prominent Lithium explorer in the region, as it positions them in a desirable spot to develop two crucial Lithium reserves in Thailand, which is pushing forward to lead Southeast Asia's EV revolution.

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