Ionic’s 100% strike rate proving there’s more to come at Makuutu
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Drill assays continue to highlight the large-scale nature of Ionic Rare Earths’ Makuutu project in Uganda with extension potential identified plus increased confidence with thickest zones identified so far.
While all holes intersected clay and saprolite mineralisation intersections above the cut-off grade of 200 parts per million total rare earth oxide less cerium (TREO-CeO2), a quarter of the latest batch of 75 holes from Phase 4 drilling returned rare earths bearing clay intervals in excess of 20m.
Notable results from Ionic Rare Earths’ (ASX:IXR) drilling at the Makuutu Central Zone, resource areas G and H, and to evaluate Exploration Target C include 28.5m grading 1,250ppm from 2.9m, 16.5m at 1,424ppm from 5.4m and 18.6m at 1,200ppm from 4.7m.
The latest results highlight just how much room there is to grow for Makuutu’s current resource of 315Mt at 650ppm TREO hosted in ionic adsorption clay – a style of mineralisation commonly regarded amongst the cheapest and most readily accessible sources of heavy rare earths.
“The infill drill holes across the Makuutu Central Zone confirmed near surface, thick REE bearing clays, and continues to validate the Makuutu deposit,” managing director Tim Harrison said.
“Thickness of mineralised clay and minimal cover is crucial to minimising the OPEX cost, and Makuutu continues to deliver with results from this batch reporting approximately 25% of the intercepts within the Makuutu Central Zone exceeding 20m thick, and over 85% greater than 10 metres thick.
“The extension holes in Areas G and H we expect will deliver new resource potential at Makuutu, and additionally, the results from area C are again very pleasing in providing greater confidence across this area to convert the considerable existing exploration target of 14 to 27 million tonnes to a resource in the next update.”
Harrison adds that the 100% strike rate to date bodes well for the rest of 2022 as the company advances towards a considerable increase in resource confidence over the next few months along with completing a feasibility study and mining licence application by October 2022.
Assays from the remaining 176 holes will be reported over the next two months.
The company noted that all holes except RRMDD483 at the MCZ are Indicated resource infill drilling designed to bring the drill spacing into a 100-metre grid.
Hole RRMDD483 infilled the Inferred resource 100 metres outside the indicated resource area.
All holes are mineralised consistent with expectations giving further confidence in geology and grade continuity for the 2022 resource update.
Drilling at areas G and H was designed to increase the drill spacing across both areas to a 200-metre grid.
Resources in these areas were limited in the current resource estimate due to lack of drill density on the margins and drilling was conducted outside the resource area to provide increased data density for the next resource update.
Meanwhile, drilling at Exploration Target C was aimed at addressing the inability of previous Phase 1 and 2 drilling to achieve sufficient grade continuity to allow for resource classification on the 400-metre spacing.
Results for the five holes received have outlined generally thick intervals of relatively lower grade mineralisation though these clay zones are consistent with minimal sand disruption.
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.