• DRA to review definitive feasibility study for Makuutu Rare Earths Project
  • Project basket contains 71% magnet and heavy rare earths content
  • DRA will look for cost efficiencies ahead of final investment decision


Ionic Rare Earths has appointed DRA Global to review the Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) for its globally significant 532Mt Makuutu Rare Earths Project in Uganda.

In March this year, Ionic Rare Earths (ASX:IXR) announced a positive stage 1 DFS for Makuutu, one of the world’s largest and most advanced development-ready ionic adsorption clay (IAC) heavy rare earth element deposits.

The Makuutu Stage 1 DFS defined a 35-year life initial project producing a 71% rich magnet and heavy rare earth carbonate (MREC) product basket.

With a strong track record in Africa spanning almost four decades, DRA Global will now review the DFS and examine opportunities for further cost efficiencies, time savings, and scale.

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

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

Ionic’s magnet recycling business last week moved into the mainstream after executing landmark partnership agreements with Ford, Less Common Metals and the British Geological Society to create a UK rare earths supply chain from recycled magnets.


Ionic Rare Earths ASX IXR
A map of the Makuutu project Area in southeast Uganda. Pic via Ionic Rare Earths


Strong African track record

DRA Global will work closely with IonicRE’s recently appointed Chief Operating Officer, Dr Tommie van der Walt, who has worked with DRA Global on several African projects including the US$2 Billion Ahafo mega-project in Ghana.

DRA will examine opportunities for further efficiencies and advise on the Makuutu demonstration plant program value optimisation to support the project’s Final Investment Decision.

“DRA Global has successfully delivered several significant mining projects across Africa in varied commodities,” Dr van der Walt said.

“Their positive attitude to challenging conditions and environments, as well as their professional approach to project execution, has served me well in my role as director for various projects.”


Optimising mine design

In addition, DRE will also identify potential opportunities for overall project enhancement and any further work required to attain the Class Two estimate accuracy (-15% to +20%).

They will also provide an in-depth review of the proposed mining philosophy and mining operation as well as an assessment and optimisation of the mine design for the Makuutu project.

Meanwhile, the Phase 5 drilling program is continuing on target at the project, with 79 holes completed (1,618m) currently focusing on upgrading the confidence of the existing mineral resource estimate on RL00007.



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.