Ionic Rare Earths increases Makuutu exposure

Ionic Rare Earths (ASX:IXR) has increased an exploration licence within the Makuutu Heavy Rare Earths Project in Uganda by 40% via its maiden rotary air blast drilling program. 

The $78 million market capitalisation company reports exploration licence (EL00257) has been revised upward to 285-766 million tonnes grading 400-700 parts per million (ppm) total rare earth oxide (TREO). 

A total of 76 holes were drilled in the phase five program across EL00147 and EL00257, as well as retention licence 00007, with 69 holes reporting assays with clay-hosted rare earth intersections above the current resource cut-off. 

Drilling across EL00147 has increased the confidence in the existing exploration target defined for 00147 with no further change. 

Ionic notes that the exploration target is outside of the current project’s Mineral Resource Estimate. 

The company intends to design an exploration program to evaluate the targets for resource development, including drilling and processing testwork. These will be compiled during 2024 to inform Ionic on work streams to advance exploration licences towards further evaluation. 

Drilling in 2023 on EL00257 was broad spaced with the aim of identifying the presence and tenor of rare earth mineralisation in the regolith above underlying fresh rock in laterite plateau areas. 

Meanwhile, drilling on EL0147 was designed to infill the initial 1-kilometre spaced 2021 RAB program drilling to a spacing of 500m. This drilling returned results consistent with the 2021 program and the exploration target range have been maintained for targets A6, B4, and B5. 

Ionic is currently focused on progressing the development of its Makuutu project through local Ugandan operating entity Rwenzori Rare Metals. The company has agreed terms with partners on moving to 94% ownership, which is anticipated to occur in H1 2024. 

Write to Aaliyah Rogan at Mining.com.au   

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.