Size of Makuutu rare earths resource upgrade will be ‘substantial’
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Special Report: A highly anticipated resource upgrade at IonicRE’s mammoth Makuutu rare earths project in Uganda is due in late February.
Makuutu is an ‘ionic absorption clay’ (IAC) hosted rare earths deposit.
Prevalent in southern China, IAC deposits are currently the source of the world’s lowest cost critical and heavy rare earths production.
But these deposits are gradually being exhausted, and Makuutu – 37km long and very shallow – represents one of only a handful of such deposits outside of southern China.
The final infill drilling results confirmed continuity and grade of REE mineralisation, with reported holes all intersecting REE mineralised clay above the mineral resource estimate cut-off grade.
– 12.2m at 1,583 ppm (parts per million) TREO from 3.3m
– 10.3 metres at 1,196 ppm TREO from 6.3m
– 19.5 metres at 1,223 ppm TREO from 7.7m, and
– 12.2 metres at 1,266 ppm TREO from 11.9 m
A project wide mineral resource estimation process has kicked off and will include maiden estimates on Exploration Targets A to J (below), and an update to the current resource with the infill drilling data aimed at increasing resource estimate confidence in that area.
“The last of the infill holes assay results confirmed numerous thick, high grade REE intervals as expected,” IonicRE managing director Tim Harrison says.
“This caps off a very successful Phase 2 drill program. We are very pleased by the outcome with 216 of the 222 holes drilled returning clay REE intervals above the MRE cut-off grade.
“We have now commenced the MRE update which we expect will be substantial, greatly increasing the scale of the Makuutu Project and aim to have this completed by the end of February.”
Given the material increase in the MRE that is expected in late Feb, the company will be completing an update of the scoping study to reflect the significant increase in the scale of the Makuutu Rare Earths Project.
The updated study has the potential to feature multiple process modules and present options for accelerated production capacity ramp-up further to the scenarios considered in the study.
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.