Oro Verde Limited (ASX: OVL) has announced a highly positive update on its Makuutu Rare Earths project located in Uganda.
The company reported that the due diligence completed on the Makuutu project demonstrates the substantial scale of the project.
OVL said that the confirmatory assays on selected historical drilling samples confirm the presence of rare earths in Makuutu mineralisation and the quantum of their original analysis.
The company reported that the drilling data shows the consistent nature of the mineralisation over several kilometres.
It may be noted that rare earths are dominantly hosted in clay and laterite mineralised zones.
Makuutu Rare Earths project
OVL had executed an agreement to acquire up to a 60% interest in the Makuutu Rare Earths project from the Ugandan company Rwenzori Metals Limited.
The Makuutu Rare Earths project comprises three licences covering approximately 132 km2 located approximately 40 km east of the regional centre of Jinja and 120 km east of the capital city of Kampala in eastern Uganda.
The package of project licences comprises of one Retention Licence (RL1693), one Exploration Licence (EL1766) and one Application for a Retention Licence (TN3115).
The area around Makuutu has excellent infrastructure with tarred roads, nearby rail, power and water, cell-phone coverage, as well as being readily accessible throughout the year irrespective of weather conditions.
Clay rare earth mineralisation
The Makuutu Project hosts ionic clay rare earth mineralisation, which is considered analogous to the rare earth mines located in Southern China.
These are globally the most readily accessible source of heavy Rare Earth Oxides (HREO) that are extracted through rudimentary mining and processing methods.
Such projects are becoming strategically important to secure the supply of critical and heavy rare earths.
Previous exploration at Makuutu
The Previous exploration at Makuutu included shallow pit excavation and sampling, a single diamond drill hole with substantive activity being a 2,043 m / 109 hole RAB drilling program. The RAB program was undertaken in 2017 by Rwenzori Rare Metals.
These programs have identified the REO mineralisation dominantly hosted in the near surface laterite and clay zones of a weathered sedimentary sequence, with some rare earths also contained in the underlying shales.
The RAB drilling demonstrated the consistent nature of the mineralisation. The notable intersections include 5 – 14 m (9 m intersection) 1117 ppm TREO; 9 – 20 m (11 m intersection) 1186 ppm TREO; 3 – 13 m (10 m intersection) 1171 ppm TREO; 5 – 14 m (9 m intersection) 1143 ppm TREO; 7 – 16 m (9 m intersection) 1329 ppm TREO; 5 – 17 m (12 m intersection) 1039 ppm TREO; 3 – 16 m (13 m intersection) 860 ppm TREO; 3 – 13 m (10 m intersection) 843 ppm TREO; 6 – 16 m (10 m intersection) 1126 ppm TREO; and 5 – 17 m (12 m intersection) 918 ppm TREO.
Technical due diligence completed
The company recently announced the successful completion of technical due diligence on the Makuutu project.
Technical due diligence on the Makuutu project involved travelling to Uganda and the project site, review of existing exploration data, collection of verification samples for assay, and meeting with various project stakeholders.
Oro Verde and its technical consultants visited the project area and inspected selected drilling locations, sample storage facility, and drilling samples from the 2017 drill program undertaken by Rwenzori Rare Metals.
Confirmation of Makuutu mineralisation bearing Rare Earths
OVL reported that a total of 23 stored drilling samples were sub-sampled by its team and dispatched to ALS Minerals (Perth) for analysis to validate rare earth content. The samples were selected to cover a range of Rare Earth concentrations and spatial origin.
The company announced that of the 23 samples collected, the verificatory analysis generally confirmed, from a due diligence perspective, the presence of rare earths in Makuutu project mineralisation and the quantum of their original analysis.
Oro Verde reported that it is in the process of determining a program to progress the project expeditiously with a focus on processing testwork and advancing resource development studies.
The Company said that an update on the planned work program would be announced once the details have been finalised.