• Ionic Rare Earths granted provisional mining licence for Makuutu heavy rare earths project in Uganda
  • Licence paves way for traceable magnet and heavy rare earth supply chain
  • Demonstration plant expected to be operational in Q1 2024
  • Update in the works for 532Mt at 640ppm TREO resource


Special Report: Ionic Rare Earths has secured a provisional mining license for Stage 1 of its Makuutu heavy rare earths project in Uganda.

Makuutu remains the most advanced Ionic adsorption clay project in development today with product not committed to China, and available to supply new supply chains looking to decouple sourcing from existing sources.

Ionic Rare Earths (ASX:IXR) MD Tim Harrison, said the provisional award is part of the official commitment from the Government of the Republic of Uganda and clears the path for the Makuutu project and the ongoing development of Uganda’s mining industry.

“This is an important step forward for Ionic Rare Earths in mining, refining, and recycling the heavy rare earths critical for the energy transition, advanced manufacturing, and defence,” he said.

The Ugandan Minister of Energy and Mineral Development (MEMD), the Honourable Dr Ruth Nankabirwa Ssentamu, is expected to sign the mining lease documents this week prior to gazetting.


Demonstration plant operational this quarter

Makuutu is one of the most advanced heavy rare earth projects globally with its Stage 1 DFS outlining a 35-year life initial project producing a 71% rich magnet and heavy rare earth carbonate (MREC) product basket.

Harrison said the provisional mining licence reinforces the Makuutu heavy rare earth project as one of the world’s largest and most advanced development-ready heavy rare earth element assets.

“We look forward to progressing the next steps and commissioning our demonstration plant at Makuutu,” he said.

IXR expects to produce its first MREC from its Makuutu demonstration plant in Q1 2024 to potential customers and offtakers who have shown interest in partnering with the company to secure magnet and heavy rare earth product.


Resource update in the works

IXR is currently preparing an update to the existing 532Mt at 640ppm TREO resource at Makuutu, and has also applied for the renewal of Exploration Licences 00147 and 00148.

The resource estimate and exploration targets are expected to be updated in Q1 2024 to incorporate results from the Phase 5 drill program completed in Q4 2023.

In addition, the company has reached agreement with its partners in Rwenzori Rare Metals to move up to from a 60% to a 94% interest in the project.




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.