Hard Rock / Pegmatite
The RK Lithium Project is the only lithium project in Southeast Asia with a JORC Mineral Resource and undergoing feasibility studies.
The RK Lithium Project (RK) is a lepidolite style hard rock lithium project located about 70km north-east of Phuket in the Phang Nga Province in southern Thailand. Pan Asia holds a 100% interest in 3 contiguous Special Prospecting Licenses (SPL) and 1 Exclusive Prospecting License (EPL) covering about 40km².
The RK Lithium Project area was part of a major tin mining region up until the mid-1980s. Up to the late 1980’s southern Thailand was a globally significant tin producer. In the Phang Nga Province from 1965 to 1990 recorded tin concentrate production was approximately 300,000 tonnes. Much of the tin production was derived from alluvial or offshore sources, however, there were some primary deposits being mined.
In the late 1960’s a joint Thai/British Geological Survey study was undertaken in the region (Garson et al, 1969). It was during this study that the lithium bearing mineral lepidolite was identified in weathered pegmatites that were being mined for tin at the Reung Kiet and Bang I Tum open pit mines as well as at other mines in close proximity. The 1960’s study conducted geological mapping, geochemical analysis and mineralogical descriptions of various tailings, concentrate and rock samples as well as lepidolite beneficiation studies. The lepidolite was found to contain 3-4% Li2O. With significant focus on two key tin mines, Reung Kiet and Bang I Tum, the survey stated:
“the pegmatites at Reung Kiet and Bang I Tum may well be the largest un-zoned lepidolite pegmatites yet recorded”; and
“lepidolite is fairly evenly distributed both along the length of the pegmatite and from wall to wall. In places there is local enrichment of massive lepidolite”
There is little recorded exploration activity in the project area since the 1960’s study.
The RK Lithium Project project comprises two key prospects, the RK Lithium Prospect and the BT Lithium Prospect:
The RK Lithium Prospect (RK)
The RK Lithium Prospect was a relatively large open cut tin mine. The old pit is about 500m long and up to 125m wide. Mining of the weathered pegmatites extended up to 30m below surface, to the top of hard rock. Pan Asia Metals has identified a prospective zone at least 1km long, reporting Mineral Resource estimate of 14.8Mt at 0.45% Li2O, of which 7.8Mt (53%) sits in the Measured category and 3.3Mt (22%) sits in the Indicated category. Please refer to Pan Asia Metals ASX announcement, “Reung Kiet Lithium Project Mineral Resource Update” dated November 2, 2023.
The Mineral Resource is based upon 102 diamond holes drilled at RK. The pegmatite swarms remain open to the north and south and at depth on many sections.
The BT Lithium Prospect (BT)
The BT Lithium Prospect hosts a significant historic tin mine that extends for almost 2km along strike. Mining was undertaken by open cut hydraulic methods to about 40m below surface and ceased when hard rock was intersected.
BT is located about 8km north of the RK Lithium Prospect. At BT, PAM has estimated a drill supported Exploration Target of 16 to 25 Million tonnes at a grade ranging between 0.4% to 0.7% Li2O (see PAM’s 10 July 2023 ASX announcement titled “RK Lithium Project Exploration Target Substantially Increased”). PAM has been conducting diamond core drilling at the BT Lithium prospect since March 2023. The drilling program is designed to test the Exploration Target estimate at BT and adjacent target zones particularly to the west.
The prospective Main trend is about 1.5km long. A lepidolite pegmatite dyke swarm can be observed on a hill about 400m south of the pit. This swarm is up to 100m wide with individual dykes up to 7m wide. The Eastern trend is about 1.5km long, located approximately 350m east of, and parallel to the Main trend.
Recent rock chip and channel sampling has yielded 44 of 64 samples with an average grade of 1.56% Li2O plus accessory tin and tantalum. 35 of these samples returning Li2O grades of >1.00% Li2O and averaging 1.80% Li2O. 12 of these samples were greater than 2.00% Li2O and the highest grade was 2.62% Li2O.