Pan Asia Metals achieves 87% lithium recovery through testwork at Reung Kiet Project, Thailand

Lithium explorer Pan Asia Metals (ASX:PAM) is looking to undertake additional testwork on mineralisation from its Reung Kiet Lithium Project in Thailand following an ‘exceptional’ round of flotation results. 

The company, which has a $37.32 million market capitalisation, says recent metallurgical testwork completed on lithium mica concentrates from ‘ore-sort’ product derived from Reung Kiet has ‘materially improved’ lithium recoveries. 

Pan Asia reports that the results have returned an ore-sort feed grade of 0.92% lithium oxide (Li2O) and demonstrate recoveries of 77% – 87%, producing Li2O concentrates of 2.80% – 3.60% in its ‘Optimum Mining Scenario’. 

The company notes its feed grades remain above 0.78% Li2O for its ‘Modelled Mining Scenario’, which incorporates 20% waste material as dilution. This scenario produces a 3% Li2O concentrate with 78% Li recoveries. 

Pan Asia says this testwork confirms that Reung Kiet has the potential to achieve ‘high’ Li recoveries and Li2O concentrate grades. 

As a result, the company states it has the potential to be ‘as competitive’ as the best lepidolite-based lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) processors in China. 

With these results now in hand, Pan Asia announces additional testwork is planned to be conducted on various blends of both weathered and fresh mineralisation. The company says this could result in better recoveries and higher concentrate grades. 

Metallurgical samples are also being prepared from drillhole samples derived from the Bang I Tum prospect.

Addressing the results, Pan Asia Metals Managing Director Paul Lock says: “This is an incredibly pleasing result. Our previously reported ore sorting results in November 2022 demonstrated an increase in the modelled ore feed grade from 0.50% Li2O to 0.92% Li2O — positioning PAM with one of the highest-grade lepidolite feed grades in the global peer group. 

The modelled volume of concentrate feed is reduced by over 60%, with the reject material below the current mineral resource cut-off grade of 0.25% Li2O. This means PAM will be processing a materially higher-grade ore than that reflected in the Reung Kiet mineral resource, which equates to a considerable reduction in capital and operating costs on a per tonne LCE basis. 

“PAM expects to be as competitive as the best lepidolite-based LCE processors in China

This means Pam will require less beneficiation capacity and PAM will be processing less product. The result being reported today further improves PAM’s position, with the Optimum Mining Scenario producing a 3% Li2O con with 87% Li recoveries or a 3.6% Li2O con with 77% Li recoveries, which should be available in certain fresh ore mining situations. 

PAM’s Modelled Mining Scenario introduces 20% dilution and still achieves a 3% Li2O con with 78% Li recoveries, which is a great outcome. As PAM is operating in a very low-cost environment, PAM expects to be as competitive as the best lepidolite-based LCE processors in China.”  

Pan Asia Metals is an ASX-listed battery metals explorer based in Southeast Asia.

The company’s Reung Kiet project is located in Thailand and represents one of the company’s key assets. The project is considered prospective for lithium mineralisation hosted in lepidolite/mica-rich pegmatites.

Pan Asia Metals had $548,000 cash at hand as of 30 June 2023, according to its latest quarterly report. However, post-quarter end, the company raised an additional $1.265 million through a share placement.

Write to Adam Drought at Mining.com.au 

Images: Pan Asia Metals
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Written By Adam Drought
Born and raised in the UK, Adam is a sports fanatic with an interest in Rugby League and UFC/MMA. When not training in Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Adam attends Griffith University where he is completing his final year of a Communication & Journalism degree.