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Sorry, I can't do more than I have already. The logical thing to do now would be to contact the client and ask for clarification. I have a mining qualification and comprehensive glossaries but I've never heard this before.
Scheint effektiv eine verwendete Tiefenbezeichnung zu sein. "Pan" laut Webster u.a.: "A natural depression in the ground, as one containing water, mud, or mineral salts". Habe keinen entsprechenden deutschen Begriff gefunden, vermute aber...