• Phase 5 RAB assays confirm heavy ionic adsorption clay-hosted rare earth intersections in extensional drilling at Ionic’s Makuutu flagship project
  • Makuutu’s ‘basket’ contains 71% magnet and heavy rare earths content
  • Infill diamond drilling continuing at Retention Licence RL00007 to boost resource classification to Indicated
  • Project DFS is being reviewed for cost efficiencies, time savings and scale to support Final Investment Decision


New assays have confirmed clay-hosted rare earth intersections at IXR’s Makuutu project in Uganda – one of the world’s largest, development-ready ionic absorption clay deposits.

Ionic Rare Earths’ (ASX:IXR) flagship Makuutu project is the most advanced ionic adsorption clay-hosted magnet and heavy REE project on the ASX, boasting a 532Mt resource and similar characteristics to the southern China ionic clay type deposits, some of the cheapest and most readily accessible source of HREO.

A Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) released in March this year outlined a 35-year initial project producing a 71% rich magnet and heavy rare earth carbonate (MREC) product basket, which puts Makuutu in a position to provide a globally available source for new supply chains emerging across Europe, the US and Asia.

DRA Global is in the process of reviewing the DFS, examining opportunities for further cost efficiencies, time savings and scale to support the projects Final Investment Decision.


Additional resources growth

Meanwhile, IXR continues to solidify the potential of its northwest tenement to provide additional growth with Phase 5 rotary air blast (RAB) assays returning clay hosted rare earth intersections in 26 of the 31 drill holes.

Highlights include 8m at 975ppm TREO from 7m, 20m at 865ppm TREO from 6m, 20m at 789ppm TREO from 4m, and 24m at 781ppm TREO from 4m.

According to IXR, all 26 holes returned intervals of regolith hosted rare earth mineralisation above the 2022 resource cut-off grade of 200 ppm Total Rare Earth Oxide minus Cerium oxide.

“The project now moves to metallurgical test work on a selection of sample intervals to map the potential of this tenement and EL00147, which is expected to add significantly to the Makuutu development plan,” IXR managing director Tim Harrison said.

“Our focus on the delivery of the Makuutu Heavy Rare Earths Project in Uganda positions us to provide a secure, sustainable, and traceable supply of magnet rare earth oxides.

“Along with our Belfast recycling facility, Makuutu is key to us harnessing our technology to accelerate mining, refining, and recycling of magnets and heavy rare earths that are critical for the energy transition, advanced manufacturing, and defence.”


What’s next?

Extraction test work has been initiated to evaluate the economic potential of this mineralisation drilled across EL00147, EL00257 and RL00007.

Diamond drilling is also continuing infill drilling at Retention Licence (RL) 00007, aiming to increase resource classification to Indicated Resource, with 103 holes completed (2,032 metres) to date.



This article was developed in collaboration with Ionic Rare Earths, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.


This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.