Pan Asia Metals seeks to expand horizons by establishing foothold in Chile’s Atacama Region

Southeast Asian battery metals explorer Pan Asia Metals (ASX:PAM) has signed a string of memorandums of understanding (MoUs) to break into a ‘world-class’ lithium district in northern Chile.

The company, which has a $35.82 million market capitalisation, says it is looking to formulate exploration plans once it secures the Tama-Atacama Brine-Clay Lithium Project in the South American ‘Lithium Triangle’. This project comprises 6 main areas that extend over 290km from north to south.

It is Pan Asia’s goal to create a ‘large’, long-term, and low-cost supply of lithium that will complement its midstream lithium processing aspirations in Southeast Asia and, with the right lithium chemical processing partners, in Chile. 

Pan Asia reports it has entered into 5 separate MoUs with 2 separate parties, Rajo Partnership (Rajo) and Kura Minerals SpA, to secure the project and achieve its aspirations. The company states it will be represented by 2 geologists, Jacob Rebek and Thomas Eggers, on a consulting basis. 

Together, it is believed these men will establish the company’s presence in Chile and position Pan Asia for additional opportunities in lithium and other battery metals. 

Pan Asia notes these projects adhere to its requirement for ‘highly prospective’ tenements that are easily accessible, close to key infrastructure, and have ample water supply. 

These projects also boast the potential to be both large-scale and low-cost. 

The company says these projects demonstrate ‘significant’ lithium values and by-product/pathfinders identified in surface sampling of salt and clay layers. Previous work has also identified ‘highly elevated’ lithium in surface within 57 of 185 samples gathered. These samples averaged lithium (Li) grades of 702 parts per million (ppm) Li and ranged up to 2,200ppm Li.  

With these MoUs now signed, Pan Asia Metals announces it will continue to engage with vendors in Chile to assist with evaluating current projects, as well as assess other opportunities in the region. Discussions with geophysical and drilling service providers are also ongoing to pave the way for the formulation of exploration plans.   

Speaking on the expansion into South America, Pan Asia Metals Managing Director Paul Lock says: The Tama-Atacama Lithium Project is the result of many, many hours of research and enquiry. The project comes with an agreement with Jacob Rebek to be PAM’s Geological Advisor for Chile and Thomas Eggers to be PAM’s Consulting Country Manager for Chile. This was an important step to ensure that PAM is well represented and informed and to ensure the project progresses speedily. 

When we look at the global peer group, we see many lithium exploration projects underway, but we also see that many of these will be high-cost, which is being demonstrated in actual operating results. As a result of the success of PAM’s midstream strategy to date, we are seeing a need for supply certainty in the medium to long term.

Supply certainty is front of mind for PAM’s partners, and our projects in southeast Asia can only supply so much feedstock — albeit it will be low-cost.  As a result, PAM embarked on a strategy to secure assets which are strategic and present potential for longer-term higher-volume low-cost supply.  

Supply certainty is front of mind for PAM’s partners”

The beauty of PAM’s Tama-Atacama Lithium Project, which in some respects is absolutely unique, is that it has all the hallmarks of a well-situated, low-cost project, i.e. all infrastructure is immediately available, located in close proximity to large population centres with large port facilities, a commercial airport, a workforce, and water supply — being the ocean.  

Further, the Tama-Atacama Lithium Project is an all-season project. All three salars we inhabit, being Salar Delores, Pintatdos and Bellevista, are the lowest salars with lithium in the global lithium peer group. Therefore, PAM is very well positioned for evaporation and water replacement operations — i.e. seawater to replace brine — and there is ample room for photovoltaics should DLE processing start to prove economic, allowing the use of DLSE with a low carbon footprint.  

“the Tama-Atacama Lithium Project is an all-season project”

All-in-all, the Tama-Atacama Lithium Project positions PAM very well to create a large long-term, low-cost supply of lithium which is complementary to PAM’s midstream lithium processing aspirations in Southeast Asia and, with the right lithium chemical processing partners, also in Chile”.    

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

The Tama-Atacama project encompasses about 1,400km-square of exploration concession applications and granted exploration concessions and demonstrates ‘strong’ potential for lithium brine and lithium-in-clay deposits hosted in the Pampa del Tamarugal basin in the northern part of the Atacama desert. 

Write to Adam Drought at Mining.com.au

Images: Pan Asia Metals Ltd
Author Image
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.