Why has Ionic Rare Earths Expanded the Makuutu Project?


Why has Ionic Rare Earths Expanded the Makuutu Project?



A Giant Leap in Rare Earth Exploration: IonicRE's Makuutu Project Expands

Ionic Rare Earths Limited (IonicRE) has significantly increased the exploration target of its Makuutu Heavy Rare Earths Project in Uganda by approximately 40%, following successful Rotary Air Blast (RAB) drilling on Exploration Licence 00257. This development not only augments Makuutu's position as a leading Ionic adsorption clay project outside China but also emphasizes its potential in contributing to diversifying global rare earth supply chains.

Expansion and Confidence

The recent drilling campaign across three licenses, including the maiden drilling on EL00257, resulted in a notable increase in the exploration target for Makuutu to 285 – 766 million tonnes at grades of 400 – 700 ppm TREO. This update comes on the back of 69 out of 76 RAB drill holes showing significant rare earth mineralization, underlining the project's robust potential.

Strategic Development

IonicRE's strategic move to increase its ownership to 94% in Rwenzori Rare Metals Limited, the local Ugandan entity operating Makuutu, signifies a strong commitment to the project's development. Scheduled for the first half of 2024, this step reinforces the company's footprint in the rare earth sector and its ambition to lead in the ionic adsorption clay domain.

Implications for the Rare Earth Market

Makuutu's development is a beacon for countries and companies striving to diversify their rare earth sources away from dominant suppliers like China.

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With the project's advanced stage and non-committal of its product to China, IonicRE is positioning itself as a key player in reshaping the global rare earth supply landscape.

Future Outlook

The increase in Makuutu's exploration target is more than a numerical upgrade; it's a strategic milestone that enhances the project's potential for resource development. IonicRE plans an exploration program in 2024 to further evaluate these targets, including additional drilling and processing test work, aiming to advance the project towards detailed evaluation and eventual production.

The expansion of the Makuutu Exploration Target is a testament to IonicRE's successful exploration strategy and its implications for the global rare earth industry. By increasing resources and advancing project development, IonicRE is not only poised for growth but also contributing to the diversification and security of global rare earth supply chains.

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