Ionic expands drilling to Phase 4 rare earths program at Makuutu
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Ionic Rare Earths has added another 2,100m of infill drilling to its Phase 4 drill program to increase the measured and indicated resource base at Makuutu to over 250 million tonnes. the confidence of Area I resource to the Indicated category.
The additional drilling added will focus on Area I and increasing the confidence from Inferred to Indicated category, and therefore upgrading the 96 million tonnes grading 550 parts per million total rare earth oxides (TREO), a substantial part of the overall mineral resource estimate of 315 million tonnes at 650ppm TREO at the Makuutu project in Uganda.
Ionic Rare Earths (ASX:IXR) recently moved to accelerate the Phase 4 drill program to convert Inferred resources at the project to the higher confidence Indicated and Measured categories with the mobilisation of a third drill rig.
The company is looking to define its Indicated and Measured resource base to more than 250Mt.
The Indicated and Measured resources, which have enough information on geology and grade continuity to support mine planning, will be used to underpin the feasibility study for the project, which is one of the largest ionic adsorption clay-hosted rare earth element deposits outside of China.
“The Phase 4 drill program progress at Makuutu has to date been ahead of schedule – we have mobilised three rigs to site in the most intensive drill program at Makuutu attempted to date,” managing director Tim Harrison said.
“This positive progress to date has unlocked the potential to increase the size of the overall drill program, now increased to 7,800 metres, which is expected to be completed over the next four weeks and get the drill core back to Australia for assay and ultimately feeding in to the MRE update in Q1 next year.”
“These additional metres that the company has added to the drill program reflects the growing confidence that IonicRE has in the development of Makuutu as a secure and long-term supplier of critical and heavy rare earths.”
The second tranche of drill core samples has been received in Australia with a third expected to arrive in Perth within the next week.
However, Ionic noted that there is still a delay of between 8-10 weeks on the receipt of analytical data from the assay lab.
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.