Makuutu Rare Earths Project Phase 5 Drill Results
Perth, Sep 4, 2023 AEST (ABN Newswire) - The Board of Ionic Rare Earths Limited (ASX:IXR) (IXRRF:OTCMKTS) advises on progress at its 60 per cent owned Makuutu Heavy Rare Earths Project ("Makuutu" or "the Project") in Uganda.
A total of 45 holes were drilled with 43 recording intervals of regolith hosted rare earth mineralisation above the 2022 Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) cut-off grade of 200 ppm TREO-CeO2. (ASX 3 May 2022). Table 1 lists the intersection compilations and Figure 2 shows the location of the drill results.
IonicRE's Managing Director Mr Tim Harrison said the Phase 5 RAB Tranche 1 assay results further validate the massive potential of EL00147 by having identified some of the highest-grade intervals drilled at this exploration target.
"EL00147 has now confirmed clay-hosted REE in 66 of 70 RAB holes drilled across programs in 2021 and 2023, on a broad 500 metre spacing, which highlights the massive potential of this exploration target. These results confirm the significance of Makuutu as a strategic asset with an expanding IAC deposit. This potential to expand the Makuutu resource further to the east means we expect the scale of the Project to substantially increase in the future, with these new assays inferring considerable upside at Makuutu."
"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. Along with our Belfast recycling facility, Makuutu is key to us harnessing our technology to accelerate our mining, refining, and recycling of magnets and heavy rare earths which are critical for the energy transition, advanced manufacturing, and defence," Mr Harrison said.
The Tranche 1 results are all from drilling located on Exploration Licence EL0147, located at the eastern end of the extensive licence holding at Makuutu.
This area was previously tested with 1-kilometre spaced RAB holes in 2021. The aim of the 2023 program was to decrease the hole spacing to approximately 500 metre spaced holes and determine broad trends and zonation of mineralisation.
The Company is progressing the development at the Makuutu Heavy Rare Earths Project through local Ugandan operating entity Rwenzori Rare Metals Limited ("RRM").
A significant number of the drill intercepts including thick high-grade intercepts RRMRB07 (10 metres at 1,029ppm TREO), RRMRB105 (11 metres at 1,013ppm TREO), RRMRB086 (24 metres at 967ppm TREO) and RRMRB085 (22 metres at 879ppm TREO) are within Exploration Target area B4.
The mineralisation in this area is hosted by a mixture of weathered rock types including granite, diorites and mafic rocks. These rocks are different from the primarily sedimentary rocks that form the protolith for the Makuutu MRE.
Results from Exploration Target area A6 are similar in TREO grade and thickness to the wide spaced 2021 drilling of the same area. This area is considered consistent to and along trend from MRE area I.
Further work planned on these areas includes metallurgical test work to determine potential rare earth extractions and core drilling to progress to a resource estimate.
Results are pending for the remaining 31 RAB drill holes from the unexplored northwestern licence EL0257 and RL00007 (Figure 3*).
Resource infill drilling is ongoing on MRE areas A and B (Figure 3) with the drilling designed to increase resource confidence from inferred to indicated status following completion of drilling, receipt of results and resource estimation. To date 78 holes (1,580 metres) have been drilled and it is expected that the program will be completed in October.
Exploration Target Drilling
The zones targeted in the Phase 5 RAB drilling program represent the most prospective identified Total Rare Earth Oxide (TREO) grade within the Exploration Target mineralisation at Makuutu. As detailed earlier, the existing Makuutu Exploration Target (ASX 1 June 2022), which is additional to the current Makuutu MRE, indicated a range for additional potential mineralisation at Makuutu estimated at; 216 - 535 million tonnes grading 400 - 600 ppm TREO*
*This Exploration Target is conceptual in nature but is based on reasonable grounds and assumptions. There has been insufficient exploration to estimate a Mineral Resource and it is uncertain if further exploration will result in the estimation of a Mineral Resource.
The 2021 Phase 3 Rotary Air Blast (RAB) reconnaissance drilling campaign tested multiple targets in the Makuutu area and identified clay hosted REE mineralisation within, and outside, the sedimentary basin that contains the Makuutu resource.
The success of that program allowed a revision of the Exploration Target. The revised Exploration Target was separated into target areas within the sedimentary basin, and those outside the basin with clay hosted REE mineralisation derived from a mixture of rock types including granite, granodiorite and some mafic rocks.
The Exploration Target ranges are listed in Table 2 and locations shown on Figure 1*.
The aim of the exploration program in the target areas is to establish further input ahead of the next phase to progress to Inferred level resources in accordance with the guidelines of the JORC code.
Exploration Licence EL00257 has areas of eU/eTh radiometric anomalism related to lateritic hardcap as seen at Makuutu. To date only reconnaissance field inspection has been conducted on this licence to confirm the radiometric response is related to hardcap.
Pending drill assays are aimed to initially determine the endowment of REE in the area with the goal of generating additions to an updated Exploration Target.
*To view tables and figures, please visit:
About Ionic Rare Earths Limited
Ionic Rare Earths Limited (ASX:IXR) (OTCMKTS:IXRRF) is focused on developing its flagship Makuutu Rare Earths Project in Uganda into a significant long life, low-cost, supplier of high-value critical and heavy rare earths.
Makuutu is an advanced-stage, ionic adsorption clay-hosted project highlighted by near-surface mineralisation, significant exploration upside, excellent metallurgical characteristics and access to tier-one infrastructure.
The ionic adsorption clay-hosted geology at Makuutu is similar to major rare earths projects in Southern China, which are responsible for the majority of global supply of low cost heavy and critical rare earths, specifically the high value magnet metals (Dysprosium and Terbium) Heavy Rare Earths (>98% originating from ionic clays). Metallurgical testing at Makuutu has returned excellent recovery rates, which provide multiple avenues for a simple process route.
Makuutu is well-supported by tier-one existing infrastructure which includes access to major highways, roads, power, water and a professional workforce.
Rare Earths will play a critical role in the future of clean energy. Rare Earths are a key ingredient in the permanent magnets found in wind turbines and electric vehicles.
IonicRE is led by an experienced and proven team, who have the capabilities to deliver Makuutu into production and realise value for all stakeholders.