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Thailand - Multi Commodity

Metal Tiger PLC (“MTR”) has been active in Thailand since October 2014. With the acquisition of South East Asia Exploration and Mining Company Limited (“SEAM”) and the Thailand interests of SEAM’s Canadian parent entity, Southeast Asia Mining Corp. (“SEA”), in February 2016 (read more), MTR has built up a strong knowledge base and working capability, to actively pursue a pipeline of mining and exploration projects and investments in this natural resource rich country.  

MTR successfully concluded commercial negotiations and a Joint Venture Agreement ("JVA") was signed in respect of the Song To and Boh Yai Silver-Lead-Zinc mines in Western Thailand. The JVA governs the process and ownership elements of a transaction where the principle objective is to bring back into production the Silver-Lead-Zinc mines at Boh Yai and Song Toh. (read more). Details of this flagship opportunity are outlined below along with summaries of the company’s exploration interests. 

Details of MTR’s current and prospective Project holdings are set out below.


Project Locations

Thai metallogenic belt
Thai Metallogenic Belt

Mining Stage Interests

Boh Yai and Song Toh Silver-Lead-Zinc Mines

The Boh Yai and Song Toh silver-lead-zinc mines and processing plant are located in the Silver-Lead-Zinc Belt of Kanchanaburi Province, western Thailand.

The mines, which are located 14km apart, have had a successful operating history and only closed due to poor metal prices.  MTR currently see no apparent reason that subject to careful planning and optimisation, mining operations could not be resumed in a period of higher metal prices and with new operating staff.

Man In Mine3
One of the several adits at Boh Yai
Ore chute hopper off the main haulage level at Boh Yai
Man In Mine3
Previous mine manager leading an underground tour
Man In Mine2
Roof pillar. All workings above water table remain open, minimal roof bolting is required
Variety of surface works maintenance and underground loading machinery at Song Toh
Various equipment is in need of overhaul or complete replacement
Underground load-haul-dump (LHD) loader
A wealth of historical mine and exploration information exists at the Song Toh and Boh Yai mine office.
The Song Toh surface complex includes mine offices, core storage, accommodation and an active school
The sites are connected to the electricity grid
Access roads to mine sites are paved
Mine offices
Mine plans and sections being studied
View of flotation tanks
Processing Facility at Song Toh
Mineral grinding circuit
View of flotation tanks
Mineral Crushers
Unmined lead-zinc-silver ore face

Underground mining operations were carried out by Metallgesellschaft AG (“MG”) between 1978 and 1991, after which operations were continued by KEMCO until 2002 when the mines closed due to low metal prices. The processing mill and floatation plant, located at the Song Toh site, was last operated in 2008 for the processing of mine stockpiles.

During the active mining period, 4.46 Mt tonnes of ore was produced from the Song Toh operation and 0.79Mt from the Boh Yai operation.  The underground mining was by room and pillar in shallow dipping parts of the orebody and by overhead open stoping in steeply dipping parts.  Close grade control was required in order to avoid undue dilution due to the irregular shape of the numerous oreshoots.

SEAM in conjunction with KEMCO commissioned independent consultants to undertake a NI 43-101 compliant Resource Estimate and Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) for the mines in 2013, this work produced a CIM compliant combined Mineral Resource of 4.85Mt (Indicated: 2.896Mt 3.57% Pb,  2.82% Zn & 72.63g/t Ag; Inferred 1.955Mt 2.95% Pb, 3.08% Zn & 48.89g/t Ag) at cut-off grade 3% Pb equivalent).

A wealth of mining, drilling and geological information remains available at the Song Toh mine offices. Drilling information has been reviewed, analysed and captured in digital format in order to allow estimation of drilled resources.  Additional information needs to be captured to allow an assessment of old mine workings and potential of the greater area as the Property clearly warrants further exploration. 

The mines have good infrastructure including paved roads, grid power and benefit from excellent geotechnical conditions.

MTR also holds exploration interests surrounding the Boh Yai and Song Toh mines (see below).


Exploration Interests

Thailand is one of the world’s leading producers of cement, feldspar, gypsum, and tin metal; in 2013 the country’s mines produced gold, iron ore, lead, manganese, silver, tungsten and zinc.

During the 1970s and 1980s Thailand benefited from thriving tin/tungsten mining industry though in more recent times the country has been largely overlooked as an exploration destination. The country has, therefore, not benefitted from systematic coverage by modern exploration techniques and the mining industry is considered under-developed relative to its geological potential.

The exploration portfolio currently consists of fourteen Special Prospecting License Applications (“SPLAs”) situated in 5 provinces: Kanchanaburi. Nakhon Sawan, Lopburi, Prachinburi, and Chanthaburi. When granted, Special Prospecting Licenses (SPLs) are valid for five years and carry an obligation for progressive annual exploration expenditures, which vary depending on the commodity under which the license is granted. The maximum size of one SPL is 16 square kilometres.

Thailand’s base and precious metal and strategic mineral potential can be grouped roughly into five broad metallogenic belts. Metal Tiger’s holdings and  associated exploration activities are summarised below. 

Lead-Zinc Belt

The Lead/Zinc Belt in the west of Thailand, along the border with Myanmar, is mostly contained within  Kanchanaburi and Tak Provinces. The Ordovician Thung Song Formation that hosts the stratabound Mississippi Valley Type  lead and zinc mineralisation outcrops in roughly parallel bands throughout Kanchanaburi and in northern Tak. The mineralisation is thought to date prior to the series of micro-continent migrations and collisions that characterise the overall tectonic history of Thailand’s geology.

Much of the Lead/Zinc Belt is designated as National Park or Wildlife Sanctuary but there are many pockets of available exploration ground. Historical work in the region beyond the proximity of the KEMCO mining area is limited, therefore Metal Tiger intends to aggressively explore the belt to identify opportunities to complement our existing interests.

Current Exploration Holdings

Metal Tiger currently holds eight SPLAs surrounding the Boh Yai and Song Toh silver-lead-zinc mines covering an area of just over 50 km2. The licence areas have previously been subject to exploration work conducted by SEAM during 2009-2014. This work included soil sampling, rock chip sampling and a geophysics programme and resulted in the definition of drilling targets in the vicinity of the Song Toh mine.

MTR also holds two Mining Lease Applications (MLAs) overlaying historical Kanchanaburi mining lease applications.


Loei-Phetchabun Copper/Gold Belt

The Loei-Phetchabun Copper/Gold Belt runs southwards down central Thailand and then curves eastward towards the Cambodian border, crossing the provinces of Loei, Phitsanulok, Phichit, Phetchabun, Nakhon Sawan, Lopburi, Saraburi, Nakhon Nayok, Parchinburi, and Sa Kaew. This Copper/Gold Belt has been interpreted as a former continental margin arc built up over a long period of subduction during Permo-Triassic times. The belt may be analogous to western South America, where the potential for residual porphyry copper type mineralisation along with subsequent hydrothermal remobilisation of metals is high.

Current Exploration Holdings

Metal Tiger holds two (2) abutting SPLAs for gold, totalling 28.6km2, on the border of Lopburi and Nakhon Sawan Provinces, within the Loei-Phetchabun Copper/Gold belt. The SPLAs cover an area of contact between undifferentiated Permo-Triassic rhyolitic volcanics and older Permian interbedded limestone and shales of the Saraburi Group. MTR field reconnaissance in the application areas has shown mineralisation characteristic of epithermal gold emplacement possibly associated with porphyry copper deposition.

MTR is currently awaiting exploration approval from the Thai authorities, as there is currently a freeze on awarding new licences for gold in Thailand pending environmental investigations of alleged mine pollution.

In Prachinburi Province, approximately 120 km northeast of Bangkok, Metal Tiger holds three (3) SPLAs for copper covering an area of 48km2. These license application areas were selected as a result of targeted ground reconnaissance, sampling, and interpretation of magnetic and radiometric geophysics data, undertaken by the SEAM geologists. The application areas are structurally prospective and display evidence for hydrothermal alteration, with sample assays yielding anomalous copper. The company will continue to work with the Department of Primary Industry and Mines to have these copper licenses granted in a timely manner.


Gold-Antimony Belt

The Gold-Antimony Belt, described in tectonic terms as the Sukhothai Terrain Volcanic Belt, is a discontinuous belt split into two parts, occurring in the north of Thailand and in the south-east. It is  characterised by occurrences of mostly rhyolitic to andesitic volcanics, outcropping in the north and south-east but buried under the thick Quaternary sediments of the Chao Phraya Basin, in the centre of the country. The Gold-Antimony Belt is interpreted to be a collapsed island arc terrain that originally formed south (paleo-direction) of the Indochina continental margin arc of the Copper/Gold Belt and was later pushed into it by the Sibumasu microcontinent advancing behind it.

Numerous gold indications mostly associated with high temperature quartz veins contained within or proximate to rhyolitic/andesitic volcanics, have been reported and observed throughout the terrain in both the northern and southern extensions.

Current Exploration Holdings

In Chanthaburi Province, on the south-east portion of the Gold-Antimony Belt, Metal Tiger holds one (1) SPLA for antimony which is a replacement for a previously held Exclusive Prospecting License (“EPL”) whose one year validity expired in 2015. The SPLA, covering 12.3 km2, surrounds an old artisanal stibnite mine and is situated at the northern extension of a block of gold SPLAs held by other parties that extends for more than 70 km to the coast.

Previous work conducted by the company on the EPL property during 2015, included preliminary and infill soil sampling, grab sampling, reconnaissance mapping and a compilation and study of existing information (published geology, reports on deposits or occurrences, aerial geophysics, lineaments and topography). This work showed that antimony mineralisation is associated with a northwest trending shallow fault between two metasedimentary units, one of Silurian-Devonian age and the other of Carboniferous age. The antinomy anomaly is currently 1km long and open both to the north and south.

In Phrae Province, in north Thailand, on the northern section the Gold-Antimony Belt, Metal Tiger has a standstill agreement on the Mae Yom Prospect with Thai Goldfields NL (read more). . This agreement allows MTR to conduct site inspection and due diligence on a block of three granted SPLs. The SPLs were granted to Thai Goldfields NL in late 2014 and have a validity of 5 years in total. The block surrounds a working barite mine and is adjacent to several former, small-scale, copper mines.

Supported by extensive field mapping, grab sample analyses yielding highly anomalous Cu, Pb, Zn, and Sb results, and isotope geochemistry studies, the Mae Yom prospect has been interpreted as a broad scale barite-rich polymetallic (Cu, Pb, Zn, PMs) Volcanic Hosted Massive Sulphide (VHMS) target. The host rocks are subaqueous rhyolitic volcanics interbedded with contemporaneous limestones and other sedimentary units of Permian to Triassic age.


Tin Belt (Lithium Potential)

The Thai Tin Belt extends from west of Bangkok down the southern peninsular of Thailand to Phuket and is then offset to the east from Nakhon Si Thammarat further south to Songkhla Province. The tin, is derived from cassiterite bearing Cretaceous age pegmatites that outcrop all the way down the Belt. Tungsten, tantalum, niobium, lithium and various rare earth elements have been shown to be associated with the pegmatites in some locations.

Thailand enjoyed a thriving tin industry in the 1970s and 1980s when over 300 small mines delivered cassiterite to a smelter in Phuket. The vast majority of these mines were working alluvial or eluvial deposits, some of them offshore. By the end of the 1980s, the industry was largely exhausted, although a few offshore operations continue today.

Lepidolite mica, which appears to be the dominant lithium-bearing mineral in the Thai pegmatite systems, was not sought by miners in the past, so may represent an untapped source of lithium in the region.

Current Exploration Holdings

With a view to exploring the lithium potential of the Tin Belt, MTR has signed a Memorandum of Understanding ("MoU") with Ariana Resources PLC (LON:AAU) for the review, exploration and development of lithium-tantalum opportunities in the Malay Peninsula, and specifically within Thailand and Myanmar read more.

MTR and AAU have agreed to collaborate on lithium-tantalum projects specifically in Thailand and Myanmar under the MoU and informal 50:50 Joint Venture ("JV"). A formal lithium JV structure will be adopted once specific projects are secured, although both companies have the right to assign their interests in the MoU to other group companies or to third parties at any time.