Ionic on track for early 2024 Makuutu REE production

Ionic Rare Earths (ASX:IXR) expects to produce its first mixed rare earth carbonate (MREC) product from its Makuutu Demonstration Plant in Uganda in Q1 2024.

The company says the product will be sent to potential customers and offtakers that are interested in partnering with Ionic to secure magnet and heavy rare earth products from Makuutu once it becomes an operational mine.

The demonstration plant is part of the company’s wider Makuutu Rare Earths Project. 

Ionic is currently working to complete the construction of the Makuutu demonstration plant technical facility. Once construction is complete and testwork equipment has been delivered and installed at the facility, process commissioning can begin. This is slated for later this year. 

The technical facility will aim to further optimise metallurgical testwork outputs and provide technical validation for a detailed review of the stage one Makuutu Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) being conducted by DRA Global. 

Ionic Rare Earths Managing Director Tim Harrison says the company is harnessing its innovations to expedite and validate its mine development work. 

“This demonstration plant at Makuutu is a key milestone for the supply chain engagement, with product to be produced here likely to be sent to potential offtake partners in early 2024. 

Makuutu is a globally strategic resource for near-term development and long-term security of magnet and heavy rare earth oxide supply. Our focus on the delivery of the Makuutu Heavy Rare Earths Project in Uganda positions us to provide a secure, sustainable, and traceable supply of magnet rare earth oxides. 

“Makuutu is a globally strategic resource for near-term development and long-term security of magnet and heavy rare earth oxide supply”

Along with our Ionic Technologies Belfast recycling facility, Makuutu is key to us harnessing our technology to accelerate mining, refining, and recycling of magnet and heavy rare earths that are critical for the energy transition, advanced manufacturing, and defence.”

The company reports grade control drilling on one of the 2 test pit locations is progressing ‘well’ and is anticipated to be completed later this month. 

Ionic Rare Earths is set to become a miner, refiner, and recycler of sustainable and traceable magnet and heavy rare earths. The company owns 60% of the Makuutu project, which is aimed to supply ‘high-value’ magnet and heavy rare earths oxide.

As of 30 September 2023, the company had $5.693 million cash and cash equivalents at hand, according to its latest quarterly report.

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Images: Ionic Rare Earths
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Written By Aaliyah Rogan
Relocated from the East Coast in New Zealand to Queensland Australia, Aaliyah is a fervent journalist who has a passion for storytelling. When Aaliyah isn’t writing stories, she is either spending time with friends and family or down at the beach.