Uganda gold

Ionic Rare Earths has awarded Mincore the engineering manager role for the completion of a feasibility study for its 51%-owned Makuutu rare earths project in Uganda.

Ionic Rare Earths commenced the feasibility study and will now work closely with Mincore to complete the process plant and associated non-process infrastructure for Makuutu. Mincore will work with the Ionic Rare Earths owner’s team to compile the feasibility study report, which will be submitted to the Ugandan Directorate of Geological Survey and Mines (DGSM) as part of the company’s submission for a mining licence application by October 2022.

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Mincore will initially complete a review of the project including looking for opportunities for CAPEX optimisation. Mincore’s appointment followed a competitive tender process, to select a contractor with suitable experience and capabilities to complete the engineering design as well as the subsequent oversight on the completion of the feasibility study. The company is expected to be able to significantly assist Ionic Rare Earths with rapidly advancing the feasibility study activity utilising their extensive African network of specialty service providers.

Increase in activity anticipated

Makuutu ranks amongst the world’s largest ionic adsorption clay (IAC) deposits, and as such, a globally strategic resource for long-term security of critical and heavy rare earth (HREO) supply.

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Commenting on the engagement of Mincore, Ionic Rare Earths MD Tim Harrison stated, “We are delighted to have awarded the feasibility study engineering management scope to Mincore. The team at Mincore presented a very complimentary skillset to the IonicRE owners’ team, and their recent experience in similar technology applications provides IonicRE with some immediate optimisation opportunities worthy of consideration for Makuutu.

“The company has made significant progress over the past few months, ensuring the optimal team is in place and work programmes are now underway to meet our accelerated timelines. This next six months will see a continued increase in activity, highlighted by the current drill program, which will greatly enhance the project’s resource definition, key to unlocking a robust feasibility study over the next 12 to 18 months.”

Mincore MD Cameron Bain added, “Mincore’s In-house Process and African experience will complement the Ionic Rare Earths owner’s team, and I’m certain our recent experience in heap leach and similar technologies will unlock immediate opportunities to be considered for the feasibility study. The Mincore team is looking forward to supporting a fast-track development timeline and to add value for the stakeholders”.