Specialty metals explorer, Pan Asia Metals continues to deliver the goods at its Reung Kiet lithium project in Thailand. The company says multiple holes along a prospective 1km trend have intercepted broad intervals of lithium hosting pegmatite dykes and vein swarms, including a newly discovered 18.4m wide pegmatite zone at depth. A maiden mineral resource estimate and results from a scoping study evaluating initial production of up to 10,000 tonnes per annum of lithium carbonate equivalent are due next year.
Pan Asia’s 100 per cent owned Reung Kiet project takes in some 40 square kilometres of tenure about 70km north-east of Phuket in south-west Thailand.
The company recently launched a drilling campaign at the southern end of its landholdings targeting lithium mineralisation below historical pits where tin was mined from weathered pegmatites at the Reung Kiet prospect and the nearby Bang I Tum prospect.
The latest intercepts from the Reung Kiet prospect include a broad 31.4m interval of composite pegmatites from 42.3m and a 23.25m thick pegmatite dyke from 49.95m.
Two additional pegmatite zones were discovered in a different hole that delivered a 14.85m intercept from 90.1m and the deeper newly discovered 18.4m pegmatite zone from 130.7m.
Importantly, management says the newly discovered 18.4m pegmatite zone remains open in all directions.
Core from the latest holes is now being processed prior to being sent to the labs for analysis.
Pan Asia has now completed 31 holes from the ongoing drilling campaign with results from seven other recently drilled holes due soon.
Drilling has already delivered numerous notable hits including 11.8m at 0.84 per cent lithium oxide from 133.2m which hosts a richer 5.1m interval at 1.11 per cent lithium oxide from 135.9m.
Another hole from the campaign returned 18m at 0.62 per cent lithium oxide from 127m, including 9.3m at 0.86 per cent lithium oxide from 127m.
Drilling continues to meet expectations and in hole RKDD031 has exceeded expectations as a second unexpected pegmatite of considerable width was intersected at depth. We are rapidly progressing to a mineral resource and we are targeting the delivery of a scoping study in the first quarter of calendar year 2022. Our aim at the Reung Kiet lithium project is to deliver a mineral resource which is sufficient to operate a 10,000 tonne per annum lithium hydroxide or lithium carbonate plant for 10 plus years, initially.
Reung Kiet is a hard rock project with lithium hosted in lepidolite rich pegmatites.
Pan Asia says that peer review has shown lepidolite to potentially be one of the lowest cost sources of lithium chemicals on an all-in sustaining cost basis after by-products are incorporated, with one of the lowest carbon footprints.
Intriguingly, valuable by-products including tin, tantalum, rubidium and caesium occur in association with lithium mineralisation at Reung Kiet.
Management says a hand-held XRF analysis of the newly intercepted pegmatites has revealed the presence of rubidium, caesium and manganese, potentially pathfinder minerals for lithium.
Pan Asia also recently lodged an application for five exploration licences that form the Kata Thong geothermal lithium and hard rock lithium-tin project, some 35kms to the north.
Two of the licences reportedly contain geothermal fields prospective for geothermal style lithium brine, with one licence lying adjacent to the lithium rich Kata Khwam granite batholith where rock-chip sampling returned grades going as high as 2,700 parts per million lithium oxide.
Geothermal brine is a hot and concentrated saline solution, having circulated through extremely hot rocks. It can be enriched with minerals such as lithium, boron, and potassium.
Management believes the Kata Thong acquisition could position the company to become a low to zero carbon emitter via the use of geothermal energy and energy from the nearby 240-megawatt Rajjaprabha hydroelectric power station – and that’s in addition to producing lithium from the brines.
Since reporting the Kata Khwam application in early September Pan Asia’s share price has surged from about $0.15 per share to more than $0.80 at its recent peak.
Recent research by global financial services company, JP Morgan concluded that by 2030 lithium demand is projected to soar by more than 500 per cent from 2020 levels, spurred on by the electric vehicle sector where demand is estimated to grow nearly ten-fold.
Pan Asia appears to be right in the thick of the lithium boom as it continues to make inroads at its Reung Kiet and kata Thong projects in Thailand – watch this space.
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