PanAust Limited, (ASX: PNA) formerly Pan Australian Resources Limited, is an Australia-based company engaged in the mine development, gold mining operations, precious and base metal project evaluation and mineral exploration. PanAust has mining and mineral operations carried on in Laos and Thailand.
In Laos, the Company operates the large Phu Kham Copper-Gold Mine, which commenced processing of copper-gold ore in March 2008. The Company produces gold from the Phu Kham Heap Leach Gold Operation which was brought into production in November 2005. The Company owns a 90% interest in the Phu Bia Mining Limited (Phu Bia Mining), through the Company’s wholly owned subsidiary Pan Mekong Exploration Pty Limited. PanAust holds a shareholding right of 33.17% in Puthep Company Limited (Puthep) through the Company’s wholly owned subsidiary PNA (Puthep) Pty Limited.
PanAust (ASX: PNA) has discovered a continuous zone of high-grade gold skarn mineralisation at the Tharkhek gold prospect, which is in close proximity to the Tharkhek copper-gold deposit near Phonsavan, Laos.
The first four discovery holes at the prospect have all intersected high-grade gold mineralisation over significant widths including 22 metres at 12.78g/t gold from 141 metres (TKRD015) and 17 metres at 10.96g/t gold from 135 metres (TKR035):
The high-grade gold mineralisation has been intersected over an area of approximately 100 x 100 metres and has an estimated true thickness of between 15 metres and 20 metres. The mineralisation remains open to the east and west.
Gary Stafford, managing director, said "Tharkhek is emerging as an exciting discovery with the prospect of a discrete high-grade gold deposit being defined in close proximity to a copper-gold deposit thereby increasing the prospects for separate gold and copper-gold production streams to be developed in the Phonsavan Region.”
Drilling activity at the Tharkhek gold prospect will be suspended through the current wet season while results are collated and interpretive work is completed.
The company said the relationship between the discrete gold and copper-gold occurrences at Tharkhek is not fully understood but is thought to be analogous to the Fortitude gold and Copper Canyon deposits in Nevada. Drilling is planned to recommence in November this year.
The nearby Tharkhek copper-gold deposit is part of the Phonsavan Copper Project, which comprises two deposits which are named KTL and Tharkhek. These are located 5km apart and close to the town of Phonsavan and existing road and power infrastructure.
Bohr Thong Prospect, also located nearby, is an additional regional exploration target.
A two-year resource development program, which will be completed in several phases, is currently underway at the KTL and Tharkhek copper-gold deposits.
Drilling at KTL has confirmed a continuous zone of copper-gold mineralisation over a strike length of 1.6km. The zone of mineralisation, which dips moderately to the south at between 30deg and 40deg, remains open to the east.
New and significant drill assay results at Tharkhek have identified significant base metal and gold mineralisation intercepts of 20 metres at 1.35% copper, 0.11g/t gold and 2.2g/t silver from a down hole depth of 42 metres at hole TKD024.
PanAust is planning to complete an initial resource estimate for the Phonsavan Copper Project for release in the March quarter 2011.