PANAUST Limited is seeking to build on the success of its Phu Kham and Ban Houayxai operations in Laos by exploring other parts of its 2600sqkm contract area. Both operations recorded strong production results in 2016 with Phu Kham also reporting that it has achieved more than 21 months of operations without a lost time injury.

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Lao Deputy Prime Minister, H.E Mr Sonexay Siphandone met with trade, mining, business and government representatives during a function in Melbourne recently hosted by ANZ Bank.

An airborne electromagnetic survey of the contract area has identified a number of geophysical anomalies in the northwest-southeast trending volcanics between the Phu Kham and Ban Houayxai operations.

PanAust intends to investigate these anomalies with further exploration this year.

Superior safety and production performances in 2016 coupled with improved cost outcomes saw the company deliver its strongest ever annual production and operating cost results.

Managing director Dr Fred Hess said, “2016 was a year of milestones and excellent results for PanAust. Our ability to deliver exceptional safety, production and cost outcomes year-on-year against a backdrop of ongoing commodity price volatility highlights our resolve to see our business excel.”

Phu Kham recorded its best ever annual production of copper in concentrate of 89,187 tonnes, up from 78,449 tonnes in 2015; open-pit material mined of 57 million tonnes, up from 55.8 million in 2015; and, copper recovery rate of 79.9%, up from 77.4%. There were also 89,657 ounces of gold in concentrate produced and 535,198 ounces of silver in concentrate.

The Ban Houayxai operation set annual records for gold production of 127,825 ounces, up from 119,152 in 2015, and open-pit material mined of 13.2 million tonnes, up from 12.5 million. The C1 cost for gold produced of US$455 per ounce shattered projected costs for the year of US$659. There were also more than 1.101 million ounces of silver produced.

“Commendably, our operations achieved these records without the aid of additional capital investment, but rather, through the improved performance and productivity of our employees and increased reliability of our existing equipment,” Fred Hess explained.

In December, PanAust also expanded its exploration activities in Myanmar through a farm-in agreement with Metro Mining for the Mahar San Exploration Project in Sagaing region.

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