Ionic Rare Earths Ltd has received encouraging results from recent drilling at its Makuutu Heavy Rare Earths Project in Uganda, suggesting the possibility of increased resources.
The company, owning 60% of the project, has completed the second phase of rotary air blast (RAB) drilling in the northwest region of Makuutu. This drilling has identified thick clay-hosted rare earth deposits in 26 out of 31 drill holes, all exceeding the 2022 resource estimate cutoff grade of 200 parts per million (ppm) total rare earth oxide minus cerium oxide (TREO-CeO2).
Notable drill hole intersections include:
- 8 meters at 975 ppm TREO from 7 meters in RRMRB117
- 20 meters at 865 ppm from 6 meters in RRMRB115
- 20 meters at 789 ppm from 4 meters in RRMRB116
- 24 meters at 781 ppm from 4 meters in RRMRB129
- 20 meters at 756 ppm from 4 meters in RRMRB120
In total, this brings the count of rare earth intersections to 69 out of 76 holes drilled across tenements EL00147, EL00257, and RL00007 as part of Phase 5 RAB program.
Ionic Rare Earths’ local Ugandan operating entity, Rwenzori Rare Metals Ltd (RRM), is now conducting metallurgical test-work on these samples to establish an updated exploration target for Makuutu, set to be revealed later this year.
Investors have responded positively to this development, with Ionic Rare Earths shares rising by approximately 8.7% to A$0.025 during mid-morning ASX trading.
Clay rare earths potential “EL00257 has now confirmed clay-hosted rare earth mineralization in 21 out of 26 RAB holes drilled in this program,” stated Tim Harrison, the Managing Director of Ionic Rare Earths.
“Our focus on advancing the Makuutu Heavy Rare Earths Project positions us to contribute to a secure, sustainable, and traceable supply of magnet rare earth oxides, crucial for the energy transition, advanced manufacturing, and defense, alongside our Belfast recycling facility.”
Ongoing drilling efforts The company continues with infill drilling in specific areas of the Makuutu mineral resource estimate (MRE) to enhance the confidence level from inferred to indicated status. As of now, 103 holes, totaling 2,032 meters, have been drilled, and the program is expected to conclude later this month.
Pending drill assay results will play a pivotal role in determining the economic potential of the rare earth deposits and their inclusion in an updated exploration target.
The conceptual exploration target for Makuutu, distinct from the current MRE, suggests the presence of additional mineralization, estimating between 216-535 million tonnes grading at 400-600 ppm TREO. These estimates are based on reasonable company assumptions and grounds.