Ionic Rare Earths Limited (ASX: IXR) is developing the Makuutu Rare Earths Project (Makuutu) to be a globally significant producer of the both Heavy Rare Earths Oxides (HREO) and Critical Rare Earth Oxides (CREO), providing a viable large scale, low cost alternative supply chain outside of China.
The Company presently owns 51% of the Makuutu Rare Earths Project and will move to 60% ownership through an earn-in arrangement.
Makuutu, located 120 km east of Kampala, Uganda, is an ionic clay hosted rare earth element (REE) deposit, with mineralisation stretching 26km within the Company’s tenure. The deposit is shallow and therefore inexpensive to mine. Additionally, processing will be very simple with the ionic REE desorbed (washed) from the clay into solution where it is extracted to make a high purity intermediate REE product, with the product basket containing high proportions (> 50%) of the critical rare earths Dy, Nd, Pr, Tb and Y.
The current aim to is to develop Makuutu to production in a staged approach, enabling rapid commercial production. Production will be increased through the additional of parallel modules. This vision will likely position Makuutu as one of the lowest cost rare earth production operations in the world, and a key strategic supplier of both CREO and HREO products to downstream users.
Tim Harrison | Managing Director
Mr Harrison is a mining executive with over 20 years’ experience and an extensive and successful track record specialising in the fields of both mineral processing and hydrometallurgy across multiple commodities. This experience ranges across the full spectrum of project development from greenfield exploration, process development, through studies and engineering, to commissioning and operations.
Mr Harrison was appointed Managing Director of Ionic Rare Earths in December 2020, and has been driving both the development of the Makuutu Rare Earth Project and the downstream supply chain integration through refining the acquisition of magnet recycling business, Ionic Technologies in the UK.
Mr Harrison holds a Bachelor’s degree of Chemical Engineering from Adelaide University with significant battery and technology metals experience across Australia, Asia and Africa. Mr Harrison is a Fellow of the Australian Institute for Mining and Metallurgy (AusIMM).
B.Eng (Chemical), FAusIMM
Max McGarvie | Non-Executive Director
Mr McGarvie has a distinguished and extensive career spanning 45 years in the mining sector covering broad range of senior roles ranging from Production Manager, Registered Mine Manager through to CEO. Mr McGarvie has an extensive portfolio of technical and managerial expertise across mine development, mineral processing, operational and management, which has seen him work across the globe in Australia, Africa and the Middle East.
Mr McGarvie’s significant portion of his career was with Iluka Resources Limited and prior entities, including development roles within its mineral sands operation at Eneabba, Western Australia and a major role in returning the Sierra Rutile mineral sands operation in Sierra Leone (operated by Iluka) to profitable operations following the civil war in that country.
MBT, MAICD, FAIM
Sufian Ahmad | Non-Executive Director
Mr Ahmad brings strong legal, business and marketing expertise to the board with over 10 years’ experience in the resource sector in the provision of corporate advisory services.
Mr Ahmad is the founder of Sixty Two Capital, an advisory firm specialising in the growth and funding of emerging ASX companies. In January 2023 Sufian was made Non-Executive Chairman of Pathfinder Resources Pty Ltd, after joining the board as a Non-Execuitve Director in March 2020.
MBA, Dip. Financial Planning, PG. Dip. Commercial and Resources Law, Ba. Law (Hons), Ba. Arts
Nitin Tyagi | Non-Executive Director
Mr Tyagi recently joined the board in June 2023, with a focus to optimise supply chain engagement, specifically on relationships in the United States and European Union, with an initial key area being the electric vehicle market.
With an impressive career working for the world’s biggest corporations such as Apple and CREE, Mr Tyagi is the co-inventor of 12 US patents and VP of supply chain at US-based battery company Our Next Energy (ONE). Prior to this posting he was the director of battery supply chain at Rivian Automotive where he managed all nodes of the battery supply chain from mines to battery packs and recycling.
Mr Tyagi’s first-hand experience in the automotive and technology sectors of mapping supply chain off-taker objectives and demand growth in the EU, North Asia and the US whilst managing upstream distributors to be ahead of geopolitical and price fluctuations brings invaluable expertise to the board.
MBA, Ma. Sc. Material Science, Ba. Tech (Mat. & Metallurgical Eng.)