Advanced stage, low capital, long-life, ionic adsorption clay project
The Makuutu Rare Earths Project is rare – it is one of very few proven Ionic Adsorption Clay (IAC) deposits, globally, with scale to move the needle on heavy Rare Earth Oxide (REO) supply for the new economy – for 50 years and beyond!
Set to become Uganda’s flagship mine, the Makuutu Project will be an environmentally and socially sustainable, low-cost development.
Ionic Rare Earths is the 60% owner of Rwenzori Rare Metals Ltd, the Ugandan company that owns the Makuutu Project.
The Makuutu deposit is comprised of six licenses covering approximately 300 km2 located 120 km east of Kampala in Uganda. The defined mineralisation stretches 37km long and is situated near high quality tier one infrastructure. Simple mining and low CAPEX processing will produce Mixed Rare Earth Carbonate (MREC) with no radionuclides (Uranium and Thorium).
The Makuutu basket contains a high proportion of magnet and heavy rare earths; including a near-perfect split of magnet rare earths Nd, Pr, Dy and Tb, required for developing the high intensity permanent magnets required for EVs and offshore wind turbines. This basket provides Ionic Rare Earths with a significant opportunity to realise downstream value addition.
The Mining License Application is finalised and pending award. Additionally, Makuutu is a scalable asset offering huge value through exploration upside along the 37km mineralisation trend. Currently, greater than 95% of the world supply of heavy REOs is from declining reserves of IACs in southern China and Myanmar, where sustainability standards are below requirements for western supply chains.
A key characteristic of Makuutu is the geology. The clays of Makuutu, which is similar to the ionic clay-type deposits of southern China and Myanmar, present a low-cost mining, extraction and processing opportunity, and are the most readily accessible global source of heavy REOs. The Makuutu Project will use simple open pit mining and heap desorption processing methods.
The Makuutu IAC deposit has a mineral resource estimate of 532 million tonnes, with enormous upside potential through further exploration. The benefit of IACs is that the deposit is at surface allowing for the development of a low capital, modular project – starting with 5 million tonnes per annum and ability to scale up in time to meet increasing demand and aligned with downstream processing capacity.
With growing demand for magnet and heavy REOs, and customers increasingly looking for sustainable supplies – the Makuutu deposit along with Ionic Rare Earths refining, and recycling divisions, will add value to the environment through the circularity of supply chains.
Makuutu Resource above 200ppm TREO cut-off (ASX: 3 May 2022)
The revised Exploration Target, which is additional to the 3 May 2022 MRE, and announced on 1 June 2022, indicated a range for additional potential mineralisation at Makuutu had 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 Rare Earths Project Tenement Details
|Expiry / Renewal Date
|RL 1693 / TN03834
Makuutu’s social licence to operate
The Makuutu Rare Earths Project has already begun to transform the lives of local Ugandans through inclusive social development growth programs and employment opportunities.
As mining progresses and exploration expands at Makuutu – the Project will continue to support local communities and economic development by unlocking Uganda’s green energy mineral revolution.
The Makuutu Rare Earths Project will integrate best practice into the flowsheet to minimise the potential for impact on the environment.
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