Ionic kicks off mining licence application process for Makuutu Rare Earths project
Ionic Rare Earths has initiated the Mining Licence Application (MLA) process for the Makuutu project in Uganda.
The MLA will focus on the Makuutu Central Zone (MCZ), within Retention Licence (RL) 1693, and will provide the basis for initial mining at Makuutu, containing an Indicated Resource of 259 million tonnes at 740 ppm TREO-CeO2.
Ionic Rare Earths (ASX:IXR) says the focus is on de-risking and accelerating project development through modular expansion.
The idea is that an initial focus on the 44km2 licence means it will be able to accelerate development, as opposed to a MLA over the total Makuutu Project area of approximately 300km2 where mining in some areas would not take place for well over 20 years in the future.
The project is being developed by Rwenzori Rare Metals, a private Ugandan company which Ionic owns 51% of – soon to be 60%.
The MLA application marks a significant milestone for the company and comes only 3 years after IonicRE obtained an interest in the project.
It also comes after two ESIA public hearings were completed in early August 2022 in Bugweri and Mayuge Districts, Uganda, which had significant turnout from the National Environmental Management Authority, Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development, government representatives, district leadership, local communities and other stakeholders.
“Strong support for the project was evident during those hearings,” the company says.
Government approval for the Makuutu Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) study is expected shortly and pending the award of the MLA, the company (via RRM) will be working with Ugandan authorities on a Mineral Development Agreement (MDA) which will establish the fiscal terms for the mine development in Uganda.
The next tenement due for renewal is RL 00007, otherwise known as the Makuutu Western Zone (MWZ), which is due by 27 November 2022.
The renewal will be initiated with the Phase 5 drill program to include additional resource drilling in these areas to convert the Inferred Resource to an Indicated Resource classification.
This article was developed in collaboration with Ionic Rare Earths Limited, 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.