Ionic’s resource confidence upgrade appears to be in the bag
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Ionic Rare Earths (ASX:IXR) has received very strong support for its goal of increasing the resource category confidence for its Makuutu ionic adsorption clay project.
All 60 holes in the second tranche of results from Phase 4 drilling intersected rare earth element mineralised clay above the resource cut-off grade of 200 parts per million total rare earths oxide less cerium oxide (TREO-CeO2).
These included a number of thick, high-grade intervals such as 21m grading 1,040ppm TREO from 3.7m, 15m at 1,156ppm TREO from 2.1m and 17.2m at 1,021ppm TREO from 4.3m.
Adding further interest, several high-grade REE bearing clays were reported within the Makuutu Central Eastern Zone exploration target outside of the current resource area.
Further results are pending with another three tranches of drill samples currently at the laboratory in Perth and another tranche currently in transit to Australia.
The Makuutu project in Uganda currently hosts a resource of 315Mt at 650ppm TREO of which 66Mt at 820ppm TREO is in the higher confidence Indicated category.
“The primary objective of the Phase 4 infill drill program was to increase the confidence on the MRE at Makuutu to support a longer life mine plan for the Feasibility Study,” managing director Tim Harrison said.
“Pleasingly, the higher grades and thickness we have observed in the infill drilling, and also in the areas that sit outside the current MRE, infer that we will also see a potential increase in the total quantum of resource at Makuutu.
“The thicknesses of the clay zones under shallow cover further differentiates Makuutu as a truly unique asset – a proven ionic adsorption clay of scale rapidly advancing towards development.”
He added that the company was exploring ways to expedite the receipt of the remaining tranche of assays into Australia and the results from remaining assays.
“The scale of resource potential emerging at Makuutu further validates the company’s plans to examine a greater role in the rare earth supply chain for the future, underpinned by a long-life potential supply of critical and heavy rare earths at Makuutu,” Harrison noted.
The second tranche of drill results included infill holes aimed at increasing the drill density within the resource area to a 200m grid that was designed to provide sufficient data to increase resource confidence to Indicated status.
These have thus far provided clay and saprolite mineralisation intersections consistent with the initial drilling phases.
It also included drill holes located to the east of the current resource central zone.
Ionic’s first tranche of drill results had also returned thick, high-grade mineralisation.
The 8,220m Phase 4 drill program is the largest that Ionic has undertaken at Makuutu to date and will be followed by a resource update early next year.
Several tonnes of metallurgical samples have also been sent to specialised testing laboratories in Australia.
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.