Ionic Rare Earths has begun phase 4 infill drilling program at its Makuutu ionic adsorption clay (IAC) hosted rare earth element (REE) project in Uganda, with a second drill rig mobilised and 55 drill holes (687m) completed to date.

The company is on track to have the third rig on site by the end of the month, it what will be the largest program ever at the project of around 5,700m of drilling.

Makuutu, with a mineral resource estimate of 315 million tonnes at 650 ppm total rare earth oxide (TREO), represents one of only a handful of IAC deposits outside of southern China.

IAC deposits are commonly considered to be some of the cheapest and most readily accessible sources of heavy rare earths.

Ionic’s (ASX: IXR) aim for phase 4 drilling is to convert the inferred resources on RL 1693 to indicated and measured resource category, plus also converting RL 1693 exploration targets to classified resources.

These higher classified resources will then be used to underpin the Makuutu feasibility study.

Targeting high grade zones

The drilling started near Makuutu Central Zone (MCZ) prioritising infill drilling to areas immediately adjacent to the existing indicated resource area, Central Zone East (CEZ) inferred, CEZ unclassified exploration target, Central Main Zone inferred, plus areas F, G and H.

The zones represent the highest identified total rare earth oxide (TREO) grade inferred and exploration target mineralisation at Makuutu.

The program will focus initially on infill drilling on a 200m grid to support conversion from inferred to indicated resources.

An allocation of drilling on a tighter 100m grid will then be completed with the goal to confirm a portion of measured resources for the feasibility study.

Ionic currently owns 51% of the project and will move to 60% ownership of Makuutu on the completion of the feasibility study.

The company also has a pre-emptive right over the remaining 40% stake 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.