- Annamite Resources Holdings Ltd. (ARH) is a precious and base metals mineral exploration company incorporated in Singapore (# 201915983C) with operations in Laos.
- Aspermont Limited‘s Mining Journal Annual Risk Assessment 2020 reports that Laos has improved its Investment Risk Index (IRI) by 20% over the last four years, by far the largest increase globally in that period. It now places in the middle of world mining jurisdictions and is the least risky country in SE Asia.
- A new local Lao subsidiary Annamite Resources Laos Co., Ltd (# 01-00024196) was established in July 2020.
- By modern exploration standards, Laos is an underexplored but highly prospective country for the precious and base metal deposit types which Annamite is targeting:
- less than 6% of Laos has been covered by modern prospecting or exploration methods;
- the Truongson and Loei Fold Belts which are highly prospective for porphyry and related deposit types comprise 70% of the country.
- Our strategy is to build a quality portfolio of near drill-ready to drill-ready exploration projects that can be quickly moved to the discovery stage with drilling, i.e. the Project Developer model.
- Since our start-up was established in May 2019, we have screened over 25 targets, shortlisted more than a dozen including some drill-ready targets, and selected the top two below for immediate work.
- We have already secured and signed 2 Joint Venture deals on two attractive projects: epithermal gold-silver (Sakai) & porphyry copper-gold (Sokdee).
- The company aims to list on the Australian ASX, Toronto TSX-V or London AIM market in 2022.
- Our team members under Lao-based expatriate Australian Chief Geologist, Paul Burrell, have already established exploration facilities in-country allowing us to operate cost-effectively without the overhead of importing equipment and people.
- Despite acknowledged potential as exemplified by the producing Sepon and Ban Houayxai – Phu Kam mines, no significant discoveries have been made outside of known mineral districts during the past 15 years.
- Annamite already has a broad base of shareholders from different parts of the world, including Laos and other SE Asia countries, who recognize the opportunity that Laos presents and wish to participate in both value creation as well as sustainable development in-country. We are now looking to broaden that base during a new round of financing.
- Portfolio Summary
New Minerals Act and underexplored mineralized areas means a great First Mover Opportunity.
- Annamite Resources has built its business model around being a project developer.
- Our approach is to find Large and/or High-Grade projects to justify significant investment in Laos, an objective we are currently achieving:
- Epithermal Au-Ag vein/stockwork zones
- Porphyry Cu-Au-Mo systems and associated skarn
- Our business team is working on legal due diligence, conducted in parallel with technical work, to negotiate favourable Joint Ventures through local contacts.
- Our current focus is now on north-western Laos (Loei Fold Belt) as this is both particularly prospective and underexplored.
- We have reviewed a large number of projects (over 25) and have negotiated two joint venture agreements on the best of them. A third one is under discussion.
- Project - Sokdee
The Sokdee Project, situated in the under-explored Lao portion of the Loie Fold Belt, represents a prime drill-ready opportunity based on historical work of reasonable quality which has identified a porphyry copper-gold prospect and several other porphyry-related Au-Cu targets. Lack of modern technical skills and an integrated geological approach has prevented the prospects from being progressed towards resource definition.
The Star porphyry, in the southern part of the Sokdee tenement, is a significant gold and copper prospect, historically tested by several drill holes only one of which was actually in the mineralized part of the porphyry.
The data from our technical due diligence provides further evidence to support our view that the Star Porphyry is a project with upside potential. Annamite logging of historical core has unequivocally identified a mineralized porphyry. Recent results indicate the presence of a skarn or epithermal deposit on the eastern flank of the porphyry system. To date, the known footprint is approximately 800m x 400m. The porphyry geometry and relation to the potential skarn/epithermal system has yet to be determined through drilling, but we already have exciting indications of a robust system.
Soil sampling as part of due diligence by Annamite has outlined a tightly clustered Au-Cu soil anomaly mainly to the immediate east of the porphyry outcrop, suggesting that the porphyry dips to the east parallel to bounding faults. It is hoped that rapid application of technical know-how will propel Star, the most advanced of all the prospects, through scout drilling, and hopefully to a maiden resource estimate.
Plan of the Star porphyry
3D section of the Star porphyry
- Project - Sakai East
Annamite’s “Sakai East” project is situated about 41km northwest of Vientiane, in Sangthong District. In parallel with ongoing exploration over the entire area of the feasibility licence, Annamite aims to determine the residual value in the Sakai East pits. The underlying material is considered to still contain considerable gold and silver, able to be extracted by modern crushing and milling. Initial work in June and July was focused on collation of soil geochemical results, preparation for the drilling and 10m grid sampling of leach pad/stockpiles to ascertain a residual grade range.
Initial drilling (six drill hole for a total of 339m) in August-September 2020 at Sakai East has shown that high grades are possible, with strong gold-silver-arsenic-lead-zinc association within mineralized envelopes up to six metres in width (downhole). Exploration Summary
Detailed planned mapping in 2021 will enable the orientation of postulated wider mineralized jogs to be determined.
- Portfolio Growth
- Our flagship project is the Sokdee Project, which includes the Star Cu-Au porphyry prospect northwest of Vientiane. With appropriate exploration, Star holds the potential for a large, low-medium grade deposit with district & regional upside. Full due diligence has been conducted on the Star porphyry. We also see additional
- Inside and around Sokdee, the district & regional upside potential includes additional porphyry centres in andesite & also skarn/carbonate replacement deposit (CRD) in Carbo-Permian limestone in contact with younger intrusions.
- With the consolidation of licenses and proper modern exploration, the Sakai area representants a significant gold and silver resource that can be moved quickly to mining. Tenement holders lack a comprehensive plan for rapidly developing any short-term resources that are discovered and for assessing the full resource potential of their license areas. Annamite can help move these projects to the next steps. Annamite is negotiating partnerships with the additional Sakai licensees to move these projects to the next steps.
Laos covers the junction between three large blocks of continental crust; the South China Terrane to the north, the Indochina Terrane to the south and the Shan-Thai Terrane to the west. These blocks are composed of metamorphic and intrusive rocks of Silurian to Precambrian age.
During Carboniferous to Permian time, shallow seas opened between the three continental blocks. Large volumes of limestone and related carbonate rocks were deposited in these seas. During early Permian time, the continental blocks moved together producing subduction zones with associated magmatic arcs. Numerous porphyry style mineralisation systems were generated in these magmatic arcs. Interaction between the porphyry systems and carbonate rocks produced many skarn style mineral deposits (Phu Kham Cu Au). Several examples of Michigan style (native copper) mineralisation have been identified in the Intermediate to mafic volcanics of these magmatic arcs, but this style has attracted very limited exploration effort.
A number of Mississippi Valley style lead-zinc deposits have been identified in the Permo-Carboniferous limestones. A few of these deposits have been exploited on a small scale for oxide zinc minerals, but the sulphide zones remain generally unexplored.
The continental blocks ultimately collided during Permian time, producing in the Truongson and Loei fold belts. Several orogenic quartz-gold vein style deposits known in Laos probably formed during this time. Previously formed deposits were deformed.
Several significant ultramafic complexes with Pt-Ni-Cr-Cu mineralisation occur along crustal scale structures in Laos. The age of these rocks is unknown, but radiometric dates from the Nan-Uttaradit ultramafic complex in Thailand suggest a Carboniferous age.
A second episode of extension during early Triassic time resulted in another episode of shallow marine carbonate sedimentation and acid magmatism. Interaction between these intrusives and the host rocks produced epithermal and porphyry mineralisation styles (Chatree low sulphidation vein Au and Sepon carlin style Au + manto style Cu). Several clusters of granitoid intrusions with associated tin and polymetallic mineralisation systems may also have intruded at this time.
From Jurassic to Cretaceous time, much of Laos was covered by a vast inland basin that filled with oxidised “redbed” style sediments. The basin has subsequently been dissected, but remnants contain several thick evaporite sequences including halite, gypsum and potassium rich salts that have been exploited for industrial uses. The lower parts of this sequence have also developed some “redbed style” sedimentary copper-silver deposits that have had very limited exploration.
Another episode of compression in the Truongson belt during Paleogene (Tertiary) time produced numerous thrust faults that complicate the geology and dismember some ore deposits.
Regional Geology and Mineralisation
- Two fold belts with porphyry Cu-Au environment cover 70% of the country.
- Proven mineral endowment with three world class Cu-Au districts (Sepon, Phu Kham and Ban Houayxai).
- Numerous skarn and carbonate replacement (Carlin) style occurrences related to porphyry centres.
- Numerous unexplored red-bed style Cu-Ag occurrences.
- Introduction to Lao People's Democratic Republic
- The Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR) is bordered by Burma and China to the northwest, Vietnam to the east, Cambodia to the south, and Thailand to the west.
- Laos is ideally situated to market minerals to the rapidly developing economies the surrounding countries.
- Laos has an abundance of hydroelectric power, a rapidly developing road network and a high-speed rail link to China under construction.
- Laos has a population of approximately 7 million people. The majority are Buddhist and the people are renowned for a peaceful nature. As a result, Laos is one of the safest countries in Asia to operate and the government has been stable since independence in 1975.
- Laos has a communist state system but has moved progressively toward a market economy. Development of the Sepon, Phu Kham and Ban Houayxai mines by Australian companies has demonstrated Government willingness to support foreign investment in the mining industry. These mines contribute a large portion of foreign revenue for Laos, but they are nearing the end of their reserves so the Government is strongly motivated to support new projects.
- A complex political history before independence and a centrally planned economy between 1975 and 1982 shielded Laos from rapid advances in modern exploration. As a result, Laos is now one of the least explored countries in Asia despite having some of the most attractive geology. This adds up to an exploration opportunity.
- Laos Mineral Development
In the past two decades, three world-class mineral deposits have been developed in Laos (Sepon copper-gold, Phu Kham copper-gold and Ban Houayxai gold-silver). Laos also includes part of the Loei fold belt that contains the 5Moz Chatree gold deposit. Despite this demonstrated mineral endowment, Laos remains one of the least explored countries in Asia.
The recent enactment of a new mining law has clarified uncertainty in the regulatory regime, but implementing regulations are still under development so the government has imposed a moratorium on the issuance of new exploration tenements. This focuses attention on existing tenements. Exploration on many of the existing tenements has stalled because the owners have either exhausted funds or have limited access to exploration skills.
The Annamite team has a great depth of experience working in Laos including the discovery of the Phu Kham orebody and financing of the Sepon mine. This experience allows us to identify exploration opportunities in Laos and deal effectively with local joint venture partners and government.
- Improvements to the Business Environment
- Lao PDR is one of the fastest-growing economies in East Asia and the Pacific. It has improved access to electricity, schools, roads, and has become an important energy exporter.
- GDP growth averaged 7.7% over the last decade, with income per capita reaching $2,577 in 2018. Economic growth is expected to remain robust in 2018, at 6.5%, with growth expected to pick up in 2019-2020
- The business climate is improving: companies now see growing opportunities from closer regional integration, and reforms to improve the business environment – It transpires in a steep decrease of the political risk in Laos
- The hydropower sector displays good success stories, as well as the few modern mines that are out there. The government needs now new revenues from mining as existing cash generating mines will downscale or close within the next three years
- In the Doing Business 2019 Report, Laos ranks better or similar to other jurisdictions when comparing with metals-rich countries in Africa and Asia
- In contrast, despite higher metal prices, the performance of the mining sector remains poorly developed. It boils down to conducting proper exploration and developing modern efficient mines
- Laos is now positioned for a new wave of mineral discovery and development. The first movers on this wave will have the best opportunity to capitalise on the wealth that will be created
Board of Directors
Christopher Goss - Chairman
Christopher, minerals financier & economist, ran business development for natural resources for the IFC (International Finance Corporation) out of London office from 2006-2010, IFC is private sector arm of the World Bank Group, and is a major private sector investor in mining in emerging markets. Earlier he led IFC mining transactions in Africa, Russia, Central Asia and Latin America. Prior, he advised African governments in natural resource policy and, negotiations in Ghana, Tanzania, Mozambique and Swaziland. From 2010—2017 he was on the board of and latterly Non-Executive Chairman of Triple Plate Junction, now Tethyan Resources, which was listed on AIM in London.
Didier Fohlen - Chief Executive Officer & Director
Didier has an engineering degree from the School of Geology and Mines, Nancy, France. He has 38 years’ experience in natural resources, energy and geoscience including senior management positions in project finance, exploration, mine development, operations and closure/rehabilitation. and setting up junior explorers. This included 15 years in the World Bank Group/IFC mining group working in Europe, Africa, Middle East, Asia and Russia, three years with Areva Mines, managing new projects in Canada, Niger and Namibia as well as historical mines in the US and France. Over the last 7 years, he held various top positions in Lydian International, and was Founder then Executive Director of Tethyan Resources. Didier created SustainRisk 2 years ago and has worked for over a year in Laos assisting an investor to undertake an exploration programme various due diligence assignments in South America, Europe and Africa. He has about 5 years of working experience in Laos. LinkedIn
Khuanchai Siphakanlaya - Independent Director
Khuanchai has a Masters in Civil Engineering from Bulgaria. He worked as a Hydropower Engineer with Electricité du Laos in 1993, followed by work as a consultant in the transport sector on construction and contracts management. He joined Montgomery Watson in 1995 as the Assistant Manager of their branch office in Vientiane, then established & became the principal owner of Lao Consulting Group Ltd. (LCG) in 2000. LCG is the leading Lao-owned and managed consulting company providing project implementation, engineering and design services across all sectors. Khuanchai has collaborated & JV’d with Tethyan Resources (then Aurasian Minerals) & with current projects in Laos with SustainRisk. He has wide-ranging experience of and access to the government political, policy and regulatory process in Laos.
Tan Choon Leng - Nominated Director
Choon Leng is a highly regarded Corporate M&A and Private Wealth lawyer and leads JurisAsia’s Corporate Practice. With over 20 years of experience advising on complex, multi-jurisdiction M&A and corporate transactions in Southeast Asia, Choon Leng is a seasoned advisor to MNCs, Asian conglomerates, private equity funds and family offices. He is dual-qualified in Singapore and England & Wales and has been consistently recognized for his expertise in various legal publications including IFLR1000, Euromoney’s Asialaw Profiles and Legal Week’s Private Client Global Elite. Choon Leng has authored and edited numerous articles and legal publications in the area of M&A, corporate law and private wealth. He is currently a visiting lecturer at the Paris based Sorbonne-Assas International Law School where he lectures on international M&A. LinkedIn
Rael Lipson - Independent Director
Dr Lipson is a consulting geologist & previously Chief Geologist for Gold Field Ltd Denver office, with +40 years of global exploration and mine experience. He combines “hands-on” fieldwork with desktop studies, for value-adding. He unlocks hidden resources by interpreting copious amounts of data, particularly where complex structural geology is involved. He is a believer in coaching and leading the next generation. Rael has assessed the geological potential of Au & Cu-Au deposits around the world, from greenfields to producing mines, for JV or acquisition opportunities. Early on he worked for Phelps Dodge in South Africa and the USA. Since leaving Gold Fields in 2013, Rael started a consulting company (RDLGEO Consulting, Inc.) and serves on the board of Mako Mining Corp. He is also a technical advisor to 2 other companies and teaches a graduate course on Exploration Targeting at Colorado School of Mines. LinkedIn
Nicholas Tate - Consultant
Nick graduated with a BSc in Geology from Flinders University of South Australia, 1982 and first class honours degree (Geology) from James Cook University of North Queensland, 1983. From 1984—2006 he provided geological mapping & prospect assessment services to wide range of clients in 11 countries. Specialised in mapping of geology, mineralisation & alteration of porphyry related mineralisation systems. Established Geomap Laos company in 2006 to generate and develop new exploration projects. Discovery credits in Laos include: Phu Kham Cu-Au ore body, Operating mine; LCT Au orebody, Feasibility; KSO Au orebody, Operating Mine; Sayabouly Pt prospect, Exploration and Nong Xeun polymetallic prospect, Exploration. Other discoveries in Argentina and Nevada, USA. LinkedIn
Paul Burrell - Chief Geologist
Paul is an Australian expat geologist with +30 years’ continuous experience in mineral exploration, project generation and management, in Australia, South America and Southeast Asia. His commodity experience includes PGMs, Au, base metals & industrial minerals. Paul is a Registered Professional Geoscientist (RPGeo) with the Australian Institute of Geoscientists and a Competent Person for precious & base metals in deposit types including porphyry/epithermal and sediment-hosted. He has worked in Laos since 2011, initially managing district exploration for MMG Limited at Sepon Mine then in 2017 establishing Savan Resources, a Lao-owned exploration consulting company. LinkedIn
Chanthaviphone (Chan) Mouanmany - Finance & Investor Relations Executive
Chan holds Bachelor degrees in Business Administration, Finance & Banking and an MBA (Vientiane, with Australian curriculum). She has 16 years broad experience on a variety of assignments related to financial and human resources management in the education, utilities (Electricite du Laos) and travel industry. Chan has extensive knowledge in finance management, human capital strategy, human resources operations and cross-border personnel management and has worked in small and large companies as well as with Government agencies, supervising accounting and financial work in the private sector. She has a proven track record in implementing corporate policies and developing leadership. Chan’s role is to oversee the financial function in Annamite as well as taking full charge of investor relations. LinkedIn
Khachonesin (Tic) Sithiphong - Business Development Executive
Tic holds a Bachelor of Science in Technical Engineering and Computer Science (San Diego) and a Diploma of Business Management (Phoenix). Since returning to Laos in 2006, he has worked in managerial roles in tourism, project development and management (including contracts for Phu Bia Mining) and most recently in tourism as a business owner. Tic has excellent communication skills in Lao, Thai & English, with a proven record of exceeding corporate goals and maneuvering ahead of time constraints. Key role is leveraging his extensive local network of contractors and tenement holders to bring high quality projects to the discussion table. Tic’s role is to develop a pipeline of quality projects for Annamite and support building relationships with Government officials. LinkedIn