Battery and critical metals explorer Pan Asia Metals is progressing infill and extension drilling at the Reung Kiet Lithium Project in Southern Thailand, where results continue to be delivered.

Looking ahead to 2022, Pan Asia Metals (ASX:PAM) says it is aiming for an inaugural mineral resource at Reung Kiet by the end of March as it prepares for feasibility studies.

The mineral resource will form part of the scoping study that will consider production of 10,000t per annum of lithium carbonate or lithium hydroxide production for 10 years plus.

Drilling is planned to kick off at the Bang I Tum lithium prospect, where previous drilling has returned highly encouraging widths and grades associated with lithium rich pegmatite dykes and veins.

PAM is currently discussing the addition of a second rig with DrillCorp, PAM’s drilling contractor.

The company is awaiting final approval on its EPLA 2/2564 licence application before extensional drilling south of the Reung Kiet pegmatite trend commences.


Metallurgical test work

PAM has engaged Dr Evan Kirby of Metallurgical Management Services to steer PAM’s lepidolite concentrate test work.

Dr Kirby is a metallurgist with over 45 years’ experience in minerals testing and feasibility work and was closely involved in European Metal Holdings Limited’s (ASX:EMH) feasibility study.

BGRIMM Machinery & Automation Technology (BGRIMM) will conduct the test work in China.


Lithium market outlook

From PAM’s point of view, momentum in electric vehicle development and manufacturing continues.

With BloombergNEF indicating that 2022 EV sales are estimated to reach 60% over 2021 actuals and Chinese demand for LFP batteries creating a scramble for lithium carbonate – which saw carbonate pricing overtake hydroxide pricing during the quarter – companies such as Pan Asia are in good position.

PAM said exacerbating the situation is the move by Tesla, Mercedes and Volkswagen, among others, to adopt LFP batteries in their lower end vehicles – which raises the question of LFP supply outside of China given that just about every Gigafactory planned is focusing on NCM battery chemistries.

Implications for raw material supply is well understood, PAM says, and some commentators have suggested that the rapidly approaching lithium battery shortage will be worse than the chip shortage in 2021.


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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.