Ionic wraps up drilling to boost confidence in rare earths resource
Ionic Rare Earths has wrapped up Phase 4 drilling designed to increase measured and indicated resources at its Makuutu project ahead of schedule.
The 432-hole program totalling 8,220m is aimed at converting more than 250 million tonnes of inferred resources into the higher confidence categories, which will in turn support completion of the feasibility study and submission of a mining licence application.
Makuutu currently has a global resource of 315Mt at 650 parts per million total rare earth oxides.
Ionic Rare Earths (ASX:IXR) is also poised to increase the size of the Makuutu footprint to about 300sqkm after it was advised that Exploration Licence application TN03573 has been approved for granting.
This licence includes a 37km trend where rotary air blast drilling had made encouraging rare earths intersections.
“The completion of the Phase 4 drill program at Makuutu represents another significant milestone achieved as we rapidly move Makuutu from exploration to a critical and heavy rare earth operation,” managing director Tim Harrison said.
“This drilling program is crucial to increasing the MRE at Makuutu and will underpin a material increase in the measured and indicated resource base that supports the Feasibility Study.”
Ionic is currently waiting on assays from the second, third and fourth tranches of drilling, though it advised that delays of 10 to 12 weeks are currently being experienced before results are delivered.
Remaining core samples are expected to be dispatched from Uganda over the next four to five weeks.
The company also plans to complete initial field activity at the new exploration licence in 2022.
This could be followed by broad-spaced RAB drilling to confirm the likely priority for additional exploration programs in the future.
Other work includes further exploration of EL00147, which saw thick rare earth mineralised clay zones intersected by numerous holes drilled under the Phase 3 program.
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.