Ionic Rare Earth (ASX:IXR) is popping the champagne after cranking up TREO resources at its unique Makuutu ionic adsorption clay project by 210 per cent.

The resource of 315Mt grading 650 parts per million total rare earth oxides (TREO) ranks Makuutu as one of the largest ionic adsorption clay deposits – commonly considered to be the some of the cheapest and most readily accessible sources of heavy rare earths – outside of China.

Its increased scale is also crucial as it will help drive efficiency while lowering operating costs and capital expenditure intensity.

Adding further interest, heavy rare earth oxides and critical rare earth oxides make up 26 per cent and 35 per cent of the total rare earths content, respectively.

Managing director Tim Harrison says the result materially exceeds the company’s expectations that it held since acquiring the project in August 2019.

“In just over 18 months, we have been able to advance the highly encouraging exploration target to now confirm Makuutu to be one of the largest ionic adsorption clay deposits outside of China, with one of the largest publicly reported TREO mineral resource estimates globally,” he explained.

“The magnitude of this mineral resource will provide a platform for the company to now look to finalise the Makuutu scoping study, which will reflect the significant nature of the resource, underpinning what we anticipate will be a long-term, low-capital and high-margin critical and heavy rare earth producing asset.”

Further growth potential

Harrison adds that there is potential for further resource growth as Makuutu has additional areas of mineralisation that have not been classified at this stage.

“I believe it is reasonable to expect, with a high level of confidence, that additional drill programs have the potential for further increases to the resource,” he noted.

“The company is commencing further targeted drilling this month, and it is expected that, combined with the potential of EL00147, additional material resource increases remain highly probable.

“Combined, the overall potential for a long-life, low-cost, high-margin critical and heavy rare earth opportunity at Makuutu is high.”


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.