Annamite has maintained a continuous presence in Laos since the company’s inception three years ago, where it has continued to leverage its local knowledge, expertise and network. The excellent exploration potential of Laos, commodity price forecasts and availability of capital are now all favorable for Annamite to make a significant discovery.
LOCATIONS IN LAOS
AND THE MAJOR
LOCATION OF KNOWN
Annamite is now employing about 30 staff on the ground, hiring local Lao personnel in areas where we explore, with training provided to build their capabilities.
Located in Hinherb and Fuang districts, Vientiane Province, the Sokdee Project, situated in the under-explored Lao portion of the Loei Fold Belt represents a prime, drill-ready opportunity. Historical work has identified a large porphyry copper-gold prospect and there is good potential for several other porphyry-related Cu-Au targets in the region. Previously, a lack of modern technical skills and data integration has hindered progress towards resource definition.
Annamite, together with its two partners Hyundae Black Stone (HBS) and Nana Road and Bridge Construction (NRBC) hold two tenements, Hinherb, containing the three prospects mentioned previously as well as an additional six targets, and Fuang, with one emerging target. The two tenements together cover 50km2.
The Namthom porphyry prospect, situated in the southern part of the eastern tenement block, is a significant copper and gold system, historically tested by several drill holes in 2013 and 2014. However, only one hole actually intersected the mineralized part of the porphyry system. Soil sampling by Annamite has outlined a 2.5 km by 1 km Cu-Au-Mo soil anomaly. Our summary re-logging of the historical core has unequivocally identified a mineralized porphyry.
Rapid application of technical know-how is likely to propel Namthom, the most advanced of all the prospects held by Annamite, through scout drilling and potentially to resource definition by the end of 2023.
Following due diligence in 2020-2021, exploration on Sokdee commenced in early 2022. After conducting our first exploration campaign consisting of soil geochemistry, drone magnetics and 2000m scout drilling (eight holes) during February through August 2022, the Annamite team has conducted low-cost ground operations during the tail end of the monsoon and the beginning of the dry season, September through December 2022. In parallel, infill soil geochemical sampling was undertaken on the best targets combined with geological mapping.
Infill soil sampling is now complete on the exciting Mouk target in the Hinherb block, with multi-element analytical results awaited. An induced polarization (IP) survey consisting of six lines to better understand the changeability of the potential deposits, was also undertaken at Namthom prospect, with results received. Recent work includes infill soil sampling mapping at the Nakhop target in the Fuang block. An additional drone magnetics survey, to the north of the previous survey in the Hinherb block, is intended to cover Mouk and Mouk West targets. An additional induced polarization survey is in planning at the Mouk target, ahead of scout drilling.
We now believe though that our Sokdee project is a standout in the crowded field of early-stage projects in that we already have sub-economic intersections from three different styles of mineralization, including a porphyry. The real merit of our project is boosted by the scale of the system within a vastly underexplored but productive belt. The first results indicate that in addition to the Namthom porphyry, the Mouk target is a new, untested soil Au-Ag-Zn-Cu-Mo anomaly, 1600m in length and broadly along the strike of the Namthom porphyry system.
As for scale, our system to date is six kilometres in length, with the porphyry but one point along that strike. Based on geochemical halo modelling, we have reason to believe that there are likely two additional blind porphyries along that extent, as well as additional structurally related styles of mineralization. Our work to date has shown that the structurally controlled styles of mineralization peripheral to the Namthom porphyry are likely to be rapidly advanced to resources definition, and on to mining, whereas the porphyry targets will be far more costly and involve a much longer timeframe to build resources, but that in the long term, the porphyries will be the main targets of interest to major companies.
Drilling is expected to start in January 2023, with a planned 5,000m of core and percussion drilling.
2022 Exploration Results for Namthom
Since conducting due diligence reconnaissance mapping, quartering and analysing drill core, and collecting widely-spaced soil geochemical data, the Namthom porphyry has been modelled using all available information. Recent exploration of this exciting prospect has included the completion and analysis of 80 infill soil samples within and around the well-defined, coincident Cu-Au-Mo anomalies associated with the porphyry, followed by an additional 84 regional soil samples collected over the remainder of the eastern tenement block recently completed. Additional geological mapping has continued, to be followed in April-June 2022 by initial drilling within the main soil anomaly.