Metal Tiger plc (LON:MTR), the London Stock Exchange AIM listed investor in strategic natural resource opportunities, is pleased to provide an update on its investment in Pan Asia Metals Limited, in which the Company holds a 13.6 per cent interest. PAM owns the Reung Kiet Lithium Project and the Khao Soon Tungsten Project (“KSTP”), both located in Thailand. PAM considers both projects are to be peer group leaders by grade, potential size and geography.
· Approval of Special Prospecting Licence Applications (“SPLAs”) for the Reung Kiet Lithium Project
· PAM expects to begin a 5 to 10 hole drilling campaign at the Reung Kiet Lithium Project in Q1 2019
Thai Special Prospecting Licence Applications approved
At a Mineral Committee (MAC) meeting held in Bangkok yesterday (30 January 2019) to consider PAM’s Reung Kiet Lithium Project SPLAs, several SPLAs and MLAs were approved, without any additional conditions. The Director General (“DG”) of the Department Primary Industry and Mines (“DPIM”) is now expected to ratify the decision imminently, following which PAM will be awarded the licences by the Phang Nga DPIM. SPLAs have a term of 5 years.
Following the formal award of the licences, PAM intends to finalise land access agreements before mobilising drilling equipment currently located at PAM’s Khao Soon Tungsten Project (KSTP) core yard, approximately 100km to the east of RKLP.
PAM expects to be drilling before the end of Q1 2019 and conduct a 5 to 10 hole drill programme at RKLP to confirm the presence of lepidolite bearing pegmatites at depth.
Background on Reung Kiet Lithium Project
RKLP is a unique lithium project, considered to be one of the largest suites of lepidolite pegmatites in its global peer group and is one of the few lithium projects located in close proximity to the key industrial and manufacturing centres of Asia. Lepidolite pegmatites are a form of lithium bearing pegmatite rich in lepidolite, a lithium bearing mica. Metallurgical testing of similar projects by several groups suggests that lithium mica projects have the potential to be positioned at or near the bottom of the cost curve for the production of lithium carbonate.
RKLP has two key prospects with a combined strike length based on pits, exposures and rock chips, of approximately 2.5km, which is one of longest combined strikes in the peer group.
PAM’s surface work to date has produced average rock chip grades of 1.54% Li2O, with good Sn and Ta credits. Both prospects are drill ready, with drilling contracts agreed. Previous mining and independent reports at RKLP indicate excellent potential to discover significant lithium resources.
The project is a good fit with the Thai Government’s industrial policy settings and therefore has Government support. Under Thailand’s current electric vehicle (EV) tax incentive programme, which has been made available to auto manufacturing and auto parts manufacturing companies producing EVs and their components, companies are eligible for five to eight years of corporate tax exemptions as well as the exemption of import duties on related machinery. Manufacturers producing more than one key EV component may have an additional year of tax exemption per key component, capped to a maximum of 10 years.
As a result, auto manufacturers are committing to manufacturing EVs in Thailand. Toyota was the first to start manufacturing EVs and has also committed to producing batteries by 2020, Nissan, Honda, BMW and Mercedes have also committed to manufacturing EVs in Thailand. Thailand is currently ranked 12th in the global automobile producers peer group, employing over 800,000 people (The International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers).
Michael McNeilly, Chief Executive Officer of Metal Tiger plc, commented:
“Pan Asia Metals is one of the few Lithium exploration companies which is positioned to build competitively priced Lithium Carbonate and Lithium Hydroxide manufacturing capacity and is currently the only lithium exploration company located on the door step of key consumers in SE Asia and Asia more generally.
We are delighted that the Thai government have granted the SPLA’s to Pan Asia Metals and look forward to continuing to work with all stakeholders as we realise this highly important resource.”
PAM is a privately owned South East Asian focused metals exploration and development company with a current focus on lithium and tungsten. Metal Tiger plc holds 7,626,447 ordinary shares in PAM having acquired a 7.8% interest in the issued share capital of PAM on 8 December 2017 for US$250,000, and on 17 September 2018 invested a further US$300,000 increasing its interest in the issued share capital of PAM to 13.6%.