Monday, July 28, 2008

Australia's PanAust eyes new Thai copper mine

Pan Australian Resources Ltd (PNA.AX: Quote, Profile, Research) said on Monday exploration work underway in Thailand could lead to development of a new mine yielding a half million tonnes of copper over 10 years.

An updated estimate of the mineral resource at the Puthep deposit in northern Thailand supported plans for a 10-year-plus mine project processing 10 to 12 million tonnes of ore a year to produce around 50,000 tonnes of copper annually, the company said.

Pan Australian's direct equity share would be at least 30,000 tonnes a year, it said.

The deposit is located within a three hour drive of the Australia-based company's regional head office in neighbouring Laos, where Pan Australian started mining copper and gold last April from its Phu Kham mine.

A feasibility study into mining the Puthep deposit was due to be completed in the first half of 2009, according to the company.

Pan Australian said will spend $30 million exploring for copper and gold in Laos and Thailand this year.

Shares in Pan Australian closed up 7.9 percent in an Australian market down 1 percent. (Reporting by James Regan; Editing by Lincoln Feast)

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