IonicRE Expands Drilling to Makuutu’s Phase 4 Rare Earth Project
- Category: tungsten‘s News
- Published on Monday, 06 September 2021 21:11
Ionic Rare Earths (IonicRE) added 2,100 meters of infill drilling in its Phase 4 drilling plan to increase the rare earth project Makuutu's measurement and indicator resource base to more than 250 million tons and to increase the confidence of Area I resources in the indicator category.
The additional drilling added will focus on Area I and raising the confidence from Inferred to Indicated category, and therefore upgrading the 96 million ton grading 550 parts per million total rare earth oxides (TREO), a substantial part of the overall mineral resource estimate of 315 million ton at 650ppm TREO at the Makuutu project in Uganda.
Ionic Rare Earths is a mineral exploration company listed in Australia, with its focus on the Makuutu project in Uganda. The mineralization of Makuutu has been confirmed as ion-adsorbed clay (IAC) rare earth mineralization, akin to the Chinese ion clay project.
This kind of deposits are currently the world’s key and lowest-cost source of heavy rare earths, as well as the only economic source of heavy rare earth oxides (HREO). The exploration completed by Makuutu, confirmed the high-grade mineralization near the surface of the mine. As a result, the Makuutu mine provides IonicRE with a low-cost mining route.
Ionic Rare Earths recently took action to accelerate the fourth stage of the drilling program, using a third drilling rig to convert the project’s inferred resources into higher-confidence indicated and measured categories. The company hopes to increase the indication and measurement resource base of the Makuutu mine by more than 250 million tons.
The indication and measurement resources have sufficient geological and quality continuity information to support mine planning and will be used to support the feasibility study of the project. This rare earth project is one of the largest ion-adsorbed clay rare earth element deposits outside of China.
"The Phase 4 drill program progress at Makuutu has to date been ahead of schedule – we have mobilized three rigs to site in the most intensive drill program at Makuutu attempted to date," said Managing Director Tim Harrison.
"This positive progress to date has unlocked the potential to increase the size of the overall drill program, now increased to 7,800 meters, which is expected to be completed over the next four weeks and get the drill core back to Australia for assay and ultimately feeding into the MRE update in Q1 next year." Tim Harrison added.
The additional depth the company has added to the drilling program reflects IonicRE's growing confidence in the development of the Makuutu mine as a safe and long-term supplier of critical and heavy rare earths.
The second batch of core samples has arrived in Australia, and the third batch is expected to arrive in Perth within the next week. However, Ionic pointed out that there is still an 8 to 10-week delay in receiving analytical data from the laboratory.
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