Pan Asia Metals Limited (PAM) continues to progress lithium and tungsten projects in Thailand with the company on schedule to lodge a prospectus next month for its Initial Public Offering on ASX.

Exploration Prospecting Licences (EPL) have been granted for the Bang Now Lithium Project (BNLP) and laboratory analysis of samples from this project have confirmed very high levels of lithium oxide (Li2O).

At Reung Kiet Lithium Project metallurgical tests on samples is underway as PAM aims to produce a high-grade, high recovery lepidolite concentrate with the potential to recover kaolin clay and quartz also being investigated.

Results enhance tungsten prospectivity

Laboratory results for drilling conducted at the Rabbit prospect of Khao Soon Tungsten Project (KSTP) have confirmed and enhanced robust near-surface tungsten mineralisation, with core intersections as high as 0.90% WO3.

An Induced Polarisation (IP) geophysics program was completed at KSTP earlier this week and, while results are being collated, initial observations are positive.

PAM is pleased with the progress it is making on these projects and IPO preparations with a prospectus expected to be lodged with ASIC and ASX in April 2020.

IPO preparations

In completing the FY17, FY18 and FY19 financial audit William Buck has provided PAM with positive feedback on the state of the accounts and the manner of PAM’s record keeping.

Perth-based Optiro has been appointed to complete an Independent Geologist Report with this process underway and PAM expects to benefit from Optiro’s South East Asian experience.

Location of Pan Asia Metals projects in southern Thailand.

BNLP EPLs granted

At BNLP the company has been granted two EPLs covering about 5 square kilometres in an area previously mined for tin using alluvial and soft rock mining methods.

During the licence application stage, PAM was permitted to conduct reconnaissance exploration work, during which it identified a zone of lepidolite-rich pegmatite dykes.

This zone is interpreted to be part of a pegmatite dyke swarm possibly up to 400 metres wide and over 2 kilometres long.

Previous PAM rock chip sampling yielded highly elevated lithium grades associated with lepidolite-rich pegmatite.

Elevated lithium grades

Laboratory analysis for Li2O on 16 samples has resulted in Li2O grades of greater than 0.5% in 13 samples with an average of 1.58%.

An additional sample was also analysed representing a float sample of mica-rich metasediment which returned 1.51% Li2O.

This sample indicates the presence of lithium-rich mica in altered ’country rock’ adjacent to the lithium-rich pegmatite dykes, with the potential to considerably expand the Li2O-rich mineralised zones.

With the grant of the EPLs PAM can now conduct more extensive exploration, including line clearing for access, mapping and sampling.

Positive results will allow for drill planning with a view to drill at the earliest opportunity.

Test work at Reung Kiet

The company has started a metallurgical test work program to test a bulk composite sample derived from the trenching program undertaken at Reung Kiet South.

This program is primarily aimed at producing a lepidolite concentrate with acceptable grade and recovery characteristics.

A 25-kilogram composite sample was prepared from 104 individual samples and the calculated average grade of the sample is 1.35% Li2O.

This material would likely represent initial mill feed early in the mine life.

The test work program will also test the potential to recover:

  1. Kaolin clay, which could represent a valuable by-product and could also be used as feed to produce high purity aluminium (HPA); and
  2. Quartz, which in its crudest form can be marketed as refined sand – which happens to be in short supply in Asia.

If successful, the program would result in a reduced tailings waste stream and the best outcome would be near zero tailings.

Lab results confirm hhXRF tests

Laboratory results on samples from the Rabbit prospect at KSTP have confirmed and enhanced testing carried out by PAM using a portable hand-held X-Ray Fluorescence (hhXRF) analyser.

As well as confirming robust near-surface tungsten grades, the lab results yield slight increases in overall tungsten trioxide (WO3) grades, with an average increase of around 14%.

The company expects to receive results shortly from a reconnaissance IP program at several KSTP prospects, including Rabbit, which was designed to identify sub-surface geology and deeper mineralised zones that can be targeted for drilling.

Market comments

PAM remains positive about its prospects despite the negative impacts on markets due to COVID-19.

It believes the foundations of its overall low-cost and value-adding strategy will position it to handle difficult situations such as this in the future.

The company said negative sentiment at the resource end of the lithium market was not being reflected at the demand end of the lithium market, where EV production had been impacted by suspected battery supply issues.

PAM’s strategy is geared toward reducing the impact of sentiment-related market issues, which tend to be amplified at the commodity end of all markets.