Pan Asia Metals says Thailand’s new mining policy shows the importance of minerals to the country’s economy, reduces dependence on imported metals and adds a significant boost to the company’s local projects.
This week the Thai cabinet approved the Policy on Mining and Downstream Industry that aims to improve investment promotion measures for the exploration, mining and downstream processing industries in the country.
Pan Asia says it is the only lithium explorer in south-east Asia with its Reung Kiet project that incorporates the Reung Kiet and Bang I Tum prospects in Thailand.
The company expects the new policy to benefit its local projects by securing Thailand’s supply chain through building security and stability whilst encouraging exploration, mining and minerals processing through investment promotion and benefits.
Thailand is the largest automotive manufacturer in south-east Asia with an annual output of more than 2 million vehicles for a variety of household brands. Its Electric Vehicle Policy is aiming for 30 per cent of the country’s total vehicle production to be electric cars by 2030.
Pan Asia has set its goals beyond just a mining operation at Reung Kiet and is seeking to eke out a future in production of precursor chemicals to sell onto battery manufacturers in the lucrative electric vehicle and lithium-ion battery markets.
Reung Kiet is advantageously wedged between the industrial centres of Thailand and Malaysia, with proximity to electric vehicle and lithium-ion battery manufacturers.
Research by global financial services company JP Morgan concluded that by 2030, lithium demand is forecast to surge more than 500 per cent from 2020 levels, driven by appetite from the electric vehicle sector where demand is estimated to grow nearly tenfold.
This is an important development for Thailand and the company, the Thai Government has essentially put its minerals supply chain security front and centre of its industrial growth initiatives, recognising that minerals exploration, mining and processing are high risk activities requiring time, skills, substantial investment and a stable policy environment, and that there is a need to encourage these activities through investment promotion and incentives.
In June the company announced a resource at the Reung Kiet prospect of 45,600 tonnes of lithium oxide or about 113,000t of lithium carbonate equivalent.
The figure is calculated at a 0.25 per cent lithium oxide lower cut-off of 10.4 million tonnes at 0.44 per cent lithium oxide, 0.04 per cent tin, 0.16 per cent rubidium, 0.02 per cent caesium and 0.009 per cent tantalum pentoxide.
Pan Asia is set to meet the country’s Office of the Board of Investment next week to discuss the company’s projects in light of Thailand’s ongoing focus on electric vehicles and its new mining policy.
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