Special Report: A drill program at Ionic Rare Earths’ Makuutu project is progressing rapidly towards completion and is expected to materially increase the current resource.
Since the arrival of a second drill rig on site, progress at the rare earths project in Uganda has doubled with three to four holes completed each day, reducing the expected time to complete the 3,700m Phase 2 program from 23 weeks to 13 weeks.
Ionic Rare Earths (ASX:IXR) noted that 62 holes totalling 967m have been drilled to date and that the 3,700m program is expected to conclude in October.
The first 11 holes were designed to confirm confidence of the internal geological continuity of the mineralisation by infilling on a 100m by 100m hole spacing while subsequent drilling is focused on increasing the size of the existing resource.
Drill core from the first 16 holes have been received in Australia for assaying.
“The progress of the drilling campaign to date has been outstanding, with the two drill rigs now working smoothly in unison to rapidly complete the program,” CEO Tim Harrison said.
“Once the initial core analysis is complete, we will firm up the remaining infill drill program with a focus on significantly increasing the indicated resource component of the Makuutu Central Zone.”
“Furthermore, the resource extension drill program is now advancing well into the Makuutu Eastern Zone where our previous drilling in late 2019 demonstrated exciting potential for a step change in overall resource tonnage.”
Growing the rare earths resource
Makuutu currently has a resource of 78.6 million tonnes grading 840 parts per million (ppm) total rare earth oxides (TREO).
Earlier drilling from the Makuutu Eastern Zone, about 6km from Makuutu Central Zone, had returned positive results indicating strong potential to expand this resource.
Most of the untested 26km long Makuutu mineralisation corridor will be tested by the current drill program, which could convert at least part of the conceptual exploration target of between 270 million and 530 million tonnes grading 0.04 to 0.1 per cent TREO into resources.
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.