PANAUST has been granted three exploration licences in Myanmar – Hel Chain, Pin Hin Hka and Nam Awl. The licences provide PanAust, a subsidiary of Chinese state-owned Guangdong Rising Assets Management, with the first phase of a contract area that it aims to build into a package of tenements covering 1400sqkm in Sagaing Division in the country’s north.
Basic reconnaissance work has commenced and historical exploration data undertaken by western mining companies during the 1990s has been made available by the Government of Myanmar.
Managing director Dr Fred Hess said the company was delighted to have entered Myanmar and the exploration licences fitted well with PanAust’s corporate strategy to maximise returns from producing assets while advancing projects that offered potential to sustain and grow the business in the long term.
“It is an exciting time to be in Myanmar and this is an excellent opportunity to strengthen our presence in Asia. Myanmar is undergoing rapid change and PanAust stands ready to participate in the economic transition under way within the country.
“The recently held elections show a genuine commitment towards resolving issues that have held Myanmar back from realising its full potential. We are one of the first and certainly the largest ‘western’ company to have been granted an exploration licence in Myanmar,” he said.
With Myanmar’s proximity to Laos, where PanAust has a number of projects, Dr Hess said the company had been able to cost-effectively ready an exploration team for mobilisation upon the licences being granted while providing administrative support from its existing operations.
“Training and operational readiness has been taking place while we waited for the licences with a number of Myanmar nationals on the exploration team. Our focus for this year is to carry out geochemical sampling and mapping to identify potential drill targets by year-end.
“We will also strengthen our business presence in Myanmar by establishing a permanent office in Banmauk Township and continue advancing other potential exploration opportunities in the country.
“In progressing activities in Myanmar, we have leveraged our award-winning sustainability practices and will continue to do so to ensure our activities contribute to the nation’s long-term growth and prosperity.
“In response to widespread flooding throughout Myanmar during the 2015 wet season, PanAust made a US$20,000 donation to Myanmar Red Cross Services as part of our initial corporate social responsibility obligations in the country. The funds were directed to infrastructure reconstruction activities within Sagaing Division following last year’s flooding.