Makuutu Rare Earths Project

Ionic Rare Earths moves towards Feasibility Study for Makuutu earn-in

Ionic Rare Earths Limited (ASX:IXR) has announced an update on progress of the Phase 4 drilling program at its 51% owned Makuutu Rare Earths Project in Uganda.

  • The Phase 4 drill program at Makuutu commenced on 15 June 2021 with the aim of upgrading inferred resources on RL 1693 to the indicated and measured resource category, plus converting RL 1693 exploration targets to classified resources.
  • Infill drilling has started near the Makuutu Central Zone on RL 1693, prioritising areas immediately adjacent to the existing indicated resource area, Central Zone East inferred, CEZ unclassified exploration target, Central Main Zone inferred, plus areas F, G, and H. The zones represent the highest identified Total Rare Earth Oxide (TREO) grade inferred and exploration target mineralisation at Makuutu.
  • Ionic has now mobilised its second drill rig for the Phase 4 program, and to date has completed 55 drill holes (687 metres).
  • The company remains on track for the mobilisation of its third rig to site at the end of July in what will be the largest program initiated at Makuutu. The committed program at present stands at 5,700 metres of drilling.
Map displaying Makuutu MRE areas by classification. Phase 4 drill target areas are displayed in black and orange.
Map displaying Makuutu MRE areas by classification. Phase 4 drill target areas are displayed in black and orange.

Makuutu Rare Earths Project

The Makuutu Rare Earths Project is an ionic adsorption clay (IAC) hosted Rare Earth Element (REE) deposit located 120 km east of Kampala in Uganda.

51% ownership; earn-in up to 60%

Ionic owns 51% of the project, with Rare Earth Elements Africa (REEA) holding 42% and Ugandan Partners with 7%. Ionic will move to 60% ownership of Makuutu on the completion of the feasibility study, and has a pre-emptive right over the remaining 40% stake in the project.

Mineral Resource

The Makuutu Mineral Resource Estimate as of 3 March 2021 was announced at 315 Million tonnes at 650 ppm Total Rare Earth Oxide (TREO) with a cut-off grade of 200 parts per million (ppm) TREO minus Cerium Oxide (CeO2).

Whats coming next

Upon upgrading both the RL 1693 inferred resource (to indicated and measured) and exploration targets (to classified resources), the updated data will be used to form the project’s feasibility study.

The company’s Phase 4 drill program will focus initially on infill drilling on a 200m grid to support conversion from Inferred Resources to Indicated Resources. An allocation of drilling on a 100m grid will then be completed with a desire to confirm a portion of Measured Resources for the Feasibility Study.

Images: Ionic Rare Earths Limited
Written By Jonathan Norris
Jonathan is a founder of and has been covering the resources industry since 2018. With over 17 years experience in print, broadcast and online media, Jonathan has seen first hand the transformative effect of online niche media.