Infill drilling raising the certainty of Ionic Rare Earths’ Makuutu REE resource in Uganda
Special Report: Greater certainty is coming to Area A at the Makuutu project in Uganda with Ionic Rare Earths reporting the assays from all 20 infill core holes received to date returning mineralised intersections.
Makuutu is the most advanced Ionic Adsorption Clay-hosted (IAC) project currently in development with product not committed to China. The operation has a resource of 532Mt grading 640ppm total rare earth oxides (TREO) which is due for an update.
It is also the subject of a Stage 1 definitive feasibility study that has already outlined an initial 35-year life project capable of producing a 71% rich magnet and heavy rare earth carbonate (MREC) product basket.
Highlighting just how important Ionic Rare Earths’ (ASX:IXR) Makuutu heavy rare earths project is to Uganda, it is also the recipient of the country’s very first large-scale mining licence since it passed the Mining Act of 2022.
The licence sets the stage for further supply chain and offtake engagement, while positioning IXR for a final investment decision later this year, with first production expected in 2026.
IXR has also agreed terms with its partners to increase its ownership in Makuutu from 60% to 94% in 1H 2024.
The second tranche of results from Phase 5 infill drilling returned assays such as 17.1m @ 1,003ppm TREO from 4.8m and 5.3m @ 1,044ppm TREO from 2.7m, providing further evidence that Area A of the Makuutu resource estimate is consistently mineralised.
Notably, it increases the likelihood that IXR will be to move a significant part of the current resource into the higher confidence indicated category, which has sufficient information on geology and grade continuity to support mine planning.
The Phase 5 program also tested extensions of both Area A and Area B to expand the mineral resource area.
To date, IXR has received assay results from 76 of the 128 holes drilled under the Phase 5 infill and extensional drilling program.
Samples for the remaining 52 holes are currently being analysed.
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.