Ionic Rare Earths 51% currently (earning up to 60%)
Rare Earth Elements Africa (REEA) (currently 42% and reducing)
Ugandan Partners (currently 7% and reducing)
Makuutu comprises six licences covering approximately 298 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:
532 Million tonnes @ 640 ppm TREO, at a cut-off grade of 200 ppm TREO-CeO2
There is significant upside for further growth at Makuutu with the Company also announcing an updated Exploration Target at Makuutu, additional to the MRE. The Makuutu ionic adsorption clay mineralisation trend stretches approximately 37 km long,
with the range for additional potential mineralisation at Makuutu has been 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.
Makuutu is defined as a shallow, near surface orebody, with REE bearing ionic adsorption clay layer thickness between 5m to 30m 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-CeO2 (Total Rare Earth minus Cerium) using simple extraction techniques, provide a platform for IonicRE to develop Makuutu into a significant long-life, low-cost, rare earths operation. In addition to REE’s, Makuutu has potential for production of appreciable content of scandium in the product.
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.