Ionic Rare Earths 51% currently (earning up to 60%)
Rare Earth Elements Africa (REEA) (currently 42% and reducing)
Ugandan Partners (currently 7% and reducing)
|TREO no Ce2O3
Makuutu comprises five licences covering approximately 242 km² and is located ~40km east of the regional centre of Jinja and 120km east of the capital city of Kampala in eastern Uganda. Makuutu is surrounded by tier-one infrastructure with tarred roads, nearby rail, power and water, cell-phone coverage, as well as being readily accessible throughout the year irrespective of weather conditions.
A key characteristic of Makuutu is the geology, which is similar to the southern China ionic clay-type deposits, which are the cheapest and most readily accessible source of heavy Rare Earth Oxides (HREO) and are extracted through rudimentary mining and processing methods.
Makuutu has a current Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) of:
78.6 Million tonnes @ 840 ppm TREO, at a cut-off grade of 300 ppm TREO-Ce2O3
There is significant upside for further growth at Makuutu with only 25% of the current targeted exploration area drilled, and 26 km of mineralisation corridor yet to be explored.
Makuutu is defined as a shallow, near surface orebody, with clay layer averaging 11.9m thick under cover approximately 3m deep. The key characteristics of Makuutu include continuous mineralisation, low strip ratio, low cost bulk mining potential, in conjunction with metallurgical recoveries of up to metallurgical recoveries of up to 75% TREE Ce 3 (Total Rare Earth minus Cerium) using simple extraction techniques, provide a platform for IonicRE to develop Makuutu into a significant, low-cost, rare earths operation. In addition to REE’s, Makuutu has potential fo production of appreciable content of scandium in the product, and potentially opportunities for the separation of scandium as a separate co-product will be explored in future phases of the project.
IonicRE will implement a simple metallurgy and processing system at Makuutu, which is outlined below.
The ROM ore will be stacked and heap leached using an acidified salt solution (ammonium sulfate) to desorb and leach REE from the ore. Once extracted from the ore, the residue will be washed with water to recover residual reagents and REE content, prior to return back to the mining pits where the residue and mining pits will be progressively rehabilitated and returned back to agricultural use.
The process liquors will be processed using Membrane technology to upgrade the REE concentration, with the clean water recycled back to the heaps for washing. Excess water will be processed to recover any reagents and REE content prior to disposal of high quality water back to the local environment once environmental standards for discharge have been met.
The Makuutu Rare Earths Project will look to integrate best practice into the flowsheet to minimise the potential for impact on the environment.
Makuutu ticks all the boxes when it comes to supplying high-value, critical and heavy rare earths, through a low-cost, scalable operation. IonicRE is focused on delivering long-term shareholder value by efficiently advancing Makuutu towards production and becoming a supplier of critical rare earths.