Ionic Rare Earths a step closer to developing Makuutu, one of the world’s most significant heavy rare earths projects
With the Ugandan government approving its Mining and Minerals Regulations, IXR can move ahead with the final key item required for the award of the all-important mining licence at the Makuutu heavy rare earth project.
Ionic Rare Earths’ (ASX:IXR) flagship 532Mt Makuutu project — the most advanced clay-hosted REE project on the ASX – is a globally strategic resource for near term, low capital development and long term security of magnet and heavy rare earth oxide (HREO) supply.
Surrounded by tier-one infrastructure in eastern Uganda with tarred roads, nearby rail, power and water, the project boasts similar characteristics to the southern China ionic clay type deposits, which are some of the cheapest and most readily accessible source of HREO.
IXR is a 60% owner of Ugandan private company Rwenzori Rare Metals, the developers of Makuutu, following the completion of a Feasibility Study which envisaged a 35-year life project producing mixed rare earths carbonate (MREC), with an anticipated production capacity of approximately 1,300 tpa REO over first 10 years, averaging 1,160 tpa over 35-years of production. The project will also appreciate appreciable amounts of scandium.
The company is now another step closer to its development goals at Makuutu following the move by the Ugandan government to update its Mining and Minerals Regulations, an important precursor to the grant of the Mining Licence Application (MLA).
“This is an important milestone for the Ugandan mining industry and has been a regulatory requirement for the grant of the Company’s MLA at Makuutu,” IXR managing director Tim Harrison says.
“With this milestone the company can now finalise the MLA fee payment which is the final item required in Uganda and clears the path to expedite the award of the Mining Licence at Makuutu.
“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.”
Harrison said the company, through Rwenzori Rare Metals, had been in regular dialogue with representatives of the Ugandan Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development (MEMD) and other Branches of the Ugandan Government and were pleased with the progress on approvals.
The fee payment required for the MLA is 20 million Ugandan shillings (~ US$5,400).
“The time and diligence to legislate Uganda’s new mining regulations shows the Government is intent on securing the right balance between growing the economy and ensuring sustainable mining practices,” he added.
IXR is now preparing for a review of the Stage 1 DFS at the Makuutu Heavy Rare Earths project prior to initiating an update to support the next phase of development.
Meanwhile, the Phase 5 drilling program is continuing on target 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.