Pan Asia Metals has delivered what could be a major breakthrough at its Reung Kiet Lithium Prospect in Thailand, with ore sorting demonstrating the potential to almost double the feed grade of the emerging Asian battery metals development.

Final assays have confirmed the amenability of mineralisation to ore sorting, with 72.8% lithium recovery in a 39.2% sample yield at an average grade of 0.92% Li2O.

60.8% of the feed was discarded as waste or low grade siltstone at 0.22%, below the mineral resource cutoff grade of 0.25% Li2O.

The upshot of that is that Pan Asia Metals (ASX:PAM), could deliver a lithium grade almost doubling from 0.5% Li2O to 0.92% Li2O, delivering major processing cost savings and other efficiencies.

“These results confirm that Steinert Australia’s ore sorting test-work can almost double the feed head grade to the beneficiation plant to 0.92% Li2O,” PAM managing director Paul Lock said.

“This means we will be processing a higher grade ore than that reflected in our Mineral Resource, which is a fantastic outcome as it also means that we will see a reduction in capital and operating costs on a per tonne LCE basis.

“We will require less beneficiation capacity – lower capex – and we will be processing less product – lower opex.

“We have more results coming through and I am pleased to say that Reung Kiet is proving its place in the global peer group, particularly so as the project is so well placed in terms of proximity to inputs and markets and the fact that Southeast Asia is one of the lowest cost operating environments in the world.”


What are ore sorters?

Ore sorters have been in use in the mining industry for around 30 years, but they have only come to widespread prominence in recent times as ore grades have declined.

Effectively they scan for mineralised and waste rock, using air jets to shoot high grade ore out of the waste stream.

That means less dilution and less waste going through processing, delivering capex, opex and maintenance savings.

Also positive, PAM has been able to replicate the results of its ore sorting test work, with recoveries almost identical to those reported to the ASX earlier this month.

Flotation test work is now being undertaken on the sorted products, with additional ore sorting tests to be undertaken on more drill holes.

Located around 70km northeast of the resort town of Phuket in Thailand’s southern Phang Nga Province, Reung Kiet stamps Pan Asia Metals as a first mover in the southeast Asian lithium industry.

A lepidolite style project, Pan Asia holds Reung Kiet across three 100% owned special prospecting licences and one exclusive prospecting licence over 40sqkm.

It contains a current resource as of June this year of 10.4Mt at 0.44% Li2O, something which will be grown through further drilling and refined with the continued success of metallurgical and ore sorting testwork.

PAM has outlined a higher grade exploration target of 8 to 14 million tonnes at a grade ranging between 0.5% to 0.8% Li2O for its Bang I Tum prospect, with its initial target to define a reserve that would underpin the production of 10,000t of lithium carbonate equivalent for at least 10 years.


This article was developed in collaboration with Pan Asia Metals, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.

This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.