Pan Asia Metals is doubling down on lithium exploration in new financial year

Battery and critical metals explorer and developer Pan Asia Metals (ASX:PAM) has entered the new financial year alongside international explorers as it works to advance its lithium tenure in Thailand and expand its foothold in Chile. 

The company, which has a $36.6 million market capitalisation, says the June quarter ‘has been a good news quarter’ for Pan Asia Metals, as reported in its latest quarterly report released yesterday (31 July 2023). 

Pan Asia reports its Reung Kiet Lithium Project in Thailand was declared a mining zone by the Cabinet of the government of Thailand, which came following the approval of the Mineral Management Master Plan No.2 (MMMP2). 

This plan was prepared by the National Mineral Management Policy Commission (NMMPC), and gave Pan Asia the legal right to submit mining lease applications for both Reung Kiet and the Bang I Tum project. 

At this time the company also recorded ‘highly encouraging’ phase one road-leach testwork and assays from infill and extensional drillholes at the Reung Kiet prospect. These results returned recoveries of up to 88% Li before optimisation, and support the geological model respectively. 

Drilling results also facilitated the completion of a soon to be released mineral resource update, says Pan Asia. 

Pan Asia announced during the quarter it established several memorandum of understandings (MoUs) with numerous parties, including VinES Energy Solutions, the largest private conglomerate in Vietnam. 

Under this MoU, both parties will work together to evaluate a standalone 20-25,000 tonnes per annum (tpa) Lithium Conversion Facility, to produce Li2CO3 or LiOH using third party feed, located close to the VinES battery plant in Vietnam. 

Following the end of the quarter, the company delivered an 80-100% exploration target update for its Bang I Tum, which now stands at 16-25 million tonnes (Mt) @ 0.40-0.70% Li2O. However, there has been insufficient exploration to estimate a mineral resource. 

Drilling is reported to continue at Bang I Tum with the aim of testing the exploration target and adjacent prospects to deliver a mineral resource by the end of 2023. 

Another MoU was signed for the company to expand its lithium exploration into northern Chile, where Pan Asia will work to acquire a ‘highly prospective’ suite of lithium brine and clay projects.

Drill site planning and authorisations as required are currently ongoing for Tama Atacama. 

Speaking on these achievements, Pan Asia Metals Managing Director Paul Lock says: “The June quarter was one of the toughest experienced by many ASX juniors, with unprecedented pre June 30 tax selling by the tail end of many company registers, including PAM, although in many cases the tax offsets will be lost when share prices started to rebound. 

For PAM it has been a good news quarter. Aside from the fantastic results coming out of the Reung Kiet Lithium Project, we announced the Tama Atacama Brine-Clay Project in northern Chile, giving PAM’s shareholders exposure to some of the best situated and most highly prospective Li in brine and Li in clay exploration ground in South America.

For PAM it has been a good news quarter”

We also announced the MoU with IRPC, whereby PAM and IRPC will collaborate toward a definitive agreement to build mining operations in southern Thailand, process the concentrate in Rayong, an industrial zone near Bangkok, to produce lithium carbonate and or lithium hydroxide, and further value add this into cathode active material. This is on the back of the VinES MoU, whereby PAM and VinES will collaborate toward a definitive agreement to build a standalone lithium conversion facility in Vietnam where third party concentrates will be processed into lithium carbonate and or lithium hydroxide for use by VinES and third parties. 

These MoUs put PAM in the same circles as some of the largest companies in Thailand in the Asian electrochemical supply chain. Reung Kiet is the beachhead, Tama Atacama is the extension, and VinES and IRPC are the pathways to a material presence in value added activities, in Asia. 

VinES, IRPC and Tama Atacama position PAM uniquely, as one of the few ASX explorers and developers with a real pathway to scale lithium chemical production. We have great September and December quarters coming, and we look forward to building a great company, with great people, and great shareholders.” 

Pan Asia Metals is an ASX-listed battery metals explorer with advanced projects in Thailand. 

The company had $548,000 cash at hand as of 30 June 2023, as stated in its quarterly report.

Write to Adam Drought at Mining.com.au

Images: Pan Asia Metals Ltd
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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.