• Pan Asia Metals strengthens hold on Tama Atacama with more lithium exploration concessions granted
  • It now holds ~996km2 of granted exploration concessions over the Pampa del Tamarugal Basin, over 60% of the application area
  • More exploration concessions are expected to be granted in the coming months
  • Planning under way for drilling to identify lithium-bearing brine aquifers
  • Currently in negotiations with strategic parties and conducting a capital raise.


Special Report: Just as the market starts to look to lithium brines as a reliably low cost source of lithium chemicals, Pan Asia Metals has increased the area covered by granted exploration concessions at its Tama Atacama lithium project in Chile to ~996km2 after it was granted a fourth series of concessions.

The latest grant of concessions covering ~116km2 consolidates the company’s hold over a significant part of the highly prized Pampa del Tamarugal Basin in Chile’s Atacama Desert, and most importantly, most of the north western flank.

The Tama Atacama project spans 290km and the key brine targets span 160km north to south, and are known for very high-grade lithium in surface assays of up to 2,200ppm Li, averaging 700ppm Li.

It is also prized for its location at lower attitudes (800-1,100m) and proximity to all required infrastructure and markets compared to other well-known lithium brine locations.

Pan Asia Metals (ASX:PAM) has previously flagged low cost and strategic positioning as key drivers in project selection.

Tama Atacama has this and more.  Situated at about 1000m, 1.3km lower than Salar de Atacama, and only 75km from Iquique, a city of 200,000, and two sea ports, provides an ideal setting for very low cost lithium production.

Tama Atacama has the benefit of access to all its infrastructure needs, such as major highways, ports, airports, rail, energy including solar power, extensive local mining including several evaporation operations, and nearby lithium chemical manufacturing.

Being 75km from Chile’s largest salt mines and salt export terminal, PAM has an outlet for the salt residues generated through lithium production, normally treated as waste and stockpiled, this provides PAM potential savings and several new revenue streams for salt and contained by products such as potassium and boron.

The potential also exists to use seawater to achieve water balance – several seawater pipelines pass through the Tama Atacama project area, pumping seawater to copper mines in the lower Andes for their copper processing requirements.

Recent changes to Chile’s mining code saw the previous two-year term with potential for a two-year extension exploration concession replaced by four-year concessions with the possibility to extend for a further four years. The company noted there is a high degree of confidence in the procedure for the grant of exploration concessions in Chile as it is a judicial process.


All of the Tama Atacama exploration concessions relative to nearby salars and projects. Pic: Supplied (PAM)


More new ground

The new exploration concessions are located mainly at the central Pink lithium prospect, within the Tama Atacama project, and fall within the Option Agreements 1 and 2.  The Pink prospect is over 600km2, and close to the size of SQM’s and Albemarle’s combined holdings on Salar de Atacama,


Capital Raising

PAM is currently in voluntary suspension as it negotiates with strategic parties and conducts a capital raise.  The Company is offering sophisticated investors an opportunity to participate.


Next steps

PAM is in discussions with geophysics and drilling service providers and plans to begin drilling on granted license areas at the Pink prospect early this year.

Initial drilling is aimed at identifying lithium-bearing aquifers at depth, which will be followed by detailed drilling designed to define an initial resource later in 2024.

The company plans to conduct evaporation test work, as well as submit bulk volumes of lithium brines for evaluation by various DLE providers.

It also expects to receive further exploration concession grants in February, March and April.


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.