Pan Asia Metals

PAM continuing testwork aimed at retaining higher grade lithium mineralisation at Reung Kiet

Pan Asia Metals (ASX:PAM) reports it is continuing metallurgical testwork on drill core samples, with an aim to retain higher grades of lithium mineralisation at the Reung Kiet Prospect in southern Thailand.

The company says drill core samples of typical lithium mineralisation from Reung Kiet have been delivered to Steinert Australia’s Test Centre in Perth to investigate the potential to sort out and separate low grade and waste siltstone from higher grade aplo-pegmatite.

According to Pan Asia, higher grades of lithium are hosted in the aplo-pegmatite dykes and veins which intrude a sequence of meta siltstone, and the 2 lithologies have different physical, mineralogical and chemical properties.

It also says the ore sorting sample is from drillhole RKDD006 and comprises half HQ core around 63mm in diameter for the interval of 54.5m to 81.5m, and the sample has a mass of 107kg.

This core was crushed at Nagrom in Perth and sized to 100% less than 50mm to over 10mm, and Pan Asia says any material under 10mm cannot be sorted and would go directly to grinding.

Pan Asia Metals Managing Director Paul Lock said although the mineral resource estimate (MRE) grade is in line with, or greater than the company’s lepidolite peers, they do not see potential to increase the mill feed grade as in working with a 5m by 5m by 10m block model to define the MRE.

“We capture a lot of low grade or waste siltstone in the block, diluting the average grade of the MRE. Ore sorting can address this by rejecting the siltstone, and with success we could see an uplift in the head grade to the beneficiation plant, which means that we would be processing a higher grade ore than that reflected in our MRE.

It is also pleasing to report that the lepidolite floatation testwork is close to complete and a lepidolite concentrate sample has been shipped from use in pyro and hydrometallurgical testwork to produce lithium chemicals.”

Pan Asia reports the sample zone from 54.5m to 81.5m contains a bulk mineralised intersection of 27m @ 0.48% Li2O, and geology through the intersection shows there is 9.95m in aggregate width of aplo-pegmatite at a weighted average grade of 1% Li2O, ranging from 0.49% to 1.26% Li2O.

The remainder of this intersection is siltstone with an average grade of 0.20% Li2O, ranging from 0.10% to 0.37% Li2O, and the weighted grades versus geology in this intersection indicate around 72% of contained lithium occurs in aplo-pegmatite which Pan Asia says represents only 37% of the intersection mass.

The company says in the crushed core samples, there is good separation of pegmatite which is purple and white, from the siltstones which is dark grey to black.

Steinert will employ a number of methods targeting the differing physical, mineralogical and chemical properties of the rock and apply those to sorting with a view to retaining the pegmatite and rejecting the siltstone.

Pan Asia says a successful conclusion to the sorting testwork would increase the feed grade reporting to the mill, which would in turn decrease required throughput for the mill.

The company also advises the final report on the lepidolite floatation testwork being conducted by BGRIMM in China is close to complete, and BGRIMM has also prepared 7kg of lepidolite concentrate that will be used for pyro and hydrometallurgical testwork to formulate saleable lithium compounds used in battery construction.

The Reung Kiet Lithium Project is a lepidolite style lithium project located around 70km northeast of Phuket in southern Thailand, and Pan Asia holds a 100% interest in 3 contiguous Special Prospecting Licences (SPL) and 1 Exclusive Prospecting Licence (EPL) covering about 40km-square.

Pan Asia Metals is a battery and critical metals explorer and developer focused on the identification and development of projects in Asia, and the company owns 2 lithium projects and 1 tungsten project all located in Thailand.

Images: Pan Asia Metals Ltd
Written By Harry Mulholland
Hailing from the Central Coast region of NSW, Harry is a passionate journalist with a background in print, radio and ESG news. When not bashing away on his keyboard, he can be found brewing a coffee or playing with his dog.