Ionic Rare Earths finds there’s more to Makuutu than meets the eye
Special Report: Ionic Rare Earths has identified potential mineralised extensions to the west of the current resource limit at its 60%-owned Makuutu heavy rare earths project in Uganda.
Makuutu is one of the world’s most advanced undeveloped heavy rare earths projects, with a basket containing 71% high value magnet and heavy rare earths.
Ionic Rare Earths (ASX: IXR) is currently preparing an update to the existing 532Mt @ 640ppm TREO resource at Makuutu, about 40km east of the regional centre of Jinja and 120km of the Ugandan capital Kampala.
The Makuutu resource was last updated in May 2022.
IXR recently completed a 128-hole Phase 5 resource infill and extension drilling program over retention licence RL00007 which sits at the extreme western end of the Makuutu mineralised trend. The primary aim of this campaign was to increase resource confidence from inferred to indicated status on resource areas A and B.
Just over 75% of the current resource at Makuutu is classed as indicated.
Assay results have been received for 56 holes from the recently completed drilling program, with 49 of those holes targeting extensions to the resource and the other seven focused on infilling at Area A.
The 49 extension holes were drilled up to 1.8km west of the western-most boundary of the Area A resource within the Makuutu mineralised trend. Drilling confirmed the mineralisation extends well beyond the resource boundary with narrow intersections recorded in low-lying areas on the margins of the mineralised plateaus. Increasing thickness was also observed on the plateaus.
Infill holes generally showed thicker and higher-grade intervals than the original 400m spaced drill holes used to estimate the current inferred resource. Best intersections included 21.8m @ 783ppm TREO from 4.7m and 16.7m @ 714ppm TREO from 4.7m.
Heavy rare earth (HREO) and critical rare earth (CREO) content was also recorded in several extension and infill drill holes.
Best hits included 9.9m @ 952ppm TREO (including 430ppm HREO and 530ppm CREO), 6.7m @ 1008ppm TREO with 428ppm TREO and 483ppm CREO and 9.9m @ 1163ppm TREO with 672ppm HREO and 641ppm CREO.
IXR said further investigation was required to determine the extent of these high-grade zones.
Results from the remaining 72 holes drilled in the recently completed Phase 5 program are currently at a Perth laboratory awaiting analysis, or in transit from Makuutu.
IXR plans to update the Makuutu resource following receipt of all assay results.
A mining licence for the project is expected to be awarded imminently. Makuutu is already earmarked to be Uganda’s flagship mining operation.
Meanwhile, the company’s magnet recycling demonstration plant in Belfast is also ramping up towards 24/7 continuous operation from early January.
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.