Ionic drilling points to Makuutu rare earth resource upgrade
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Special Report: Drilling has intersected near-surface rare earth clay mineralisation in the Western Zone of Ionic’s Makuutu project in Uganda.
Intervals above the resource cut-off grade of 300 parts per million (ppm) total rare earth oxide (TREO) less cerium were intersected in 34 of the 38 holes that tested target areas A, B and C in the Makutuu Western Zone (MWZ).
Numerous thick intervals were intersected in the fifth tranche of its Phase 2 drilling program with notable results of 12.5m grading 728 ppm TREO from 4m, 11.7m at 621ppm TREO from 4.1m and 8.4m at 700ppm TREO from 2.3m.
Ionic Rare Earths’ (ASX:IXR) newly appointed managing director Tim Harrison says the results confirm the extent of rare earth clay mineralisation in the MWZ.
“The grade and thickness reported is as expected and consistent with other areas of the Makuutu project area,” he added.
“These tranche five results originate from an exploration target area of approximately 4.5sqkm so we can expect based upon the results a sizable contribution towards the resource update in Q1 2021. We expect this to have a positive impact on future Scoping Study revisions.”
The Phase 2 drill program consisted of 3,745m of core drilling that covered an area three times greater than the area covered by the current resource of 76.8 million tonnes grading 840ppm TREO for 66,000 contained tonnes of TREO.
This is aimed at validating the company’s exploration target of 270 – 530 million tonnes grading 0.04 – 0.1% (400 – 1,000 ppm) TREO, quantifying the potential of the 26km Makuutu mineralised corridor and providing data for the upcoming resource upgrade.
Assays are still pending for exploration drilling on the western side of the current resource and infill drilling to increase resource grade estimation confidence.
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