The Board of Ionic Rare Earths (IonicRE) has reported a substantial 210% increase to the Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) at its 51%-owned Makuutu Rare Earths Project.
It is estimated at 315 Mt at 650 ppm Total Rare Earth Oxide (TREO) with a cut-off grade of 200 ppm TREO minus CeO2.
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This updated MRE places Makuutu amongst the world’s largest ionic adsorption clay deposits, and as such, a globally strategic resource for low-cost, high-margin and long-term security of critical and heavy rare earth (HREO) supply.
The Makuutu MRE has been updated based on the following key inputs:
- 279 drill holes for 4,754 metres of drilled between October 2019 and October 2020;
- Includes 54 infill drill holes completed on a 200-metre grid on the Makuutu Central area increasing resource confidence to Indicated status in that area;
- Includes 8 infill drill holes on a 100-metre grid on the Makuutu Central area evaluating short range variability in head grade and extraction;
- 487 insitu dry bulk density measurements from drill core samples; and
- Marginal cut-off grade parameters based on Makuutu Rare Earth Element extraction metallurgical test results, project-based cost estimates and REO product pricing reflecting current and forecast REO prices.
Commenting on this significant MRE upgrade, IonicRE’s MD, Tim Harrison says:
“This is a fantastic result for the Company and materially exceeds the long-held expectation that the Company has had since first acquiring the interest in Makuutu back in August 2019.
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“In just over 18 months, we have been able to advance the highly encouraging Exploration Target to now confirm Makuutu to be one of the largest ionic adsorption clay deposits outside of China, with one of the largest publicly reported TREO mineral resource estimates globally.”
“The magnitude of this Mineral Resource will provide a platform for the Company to now look to finalise the Makuutu Scoping Study, which will reflect the significant nature of the resource, underpinning what we anticipate will be a long-term, low-capital and high-margin critical and heavy rare earth producing asset.”
“Makuutu has additional areas of mineralisation which have not been classified at this stage. I believe it is reasonable to expect, with a high level of confidence, that additional drill programs have the potential for further increases to the resource.
“The Company is commencing further targeted drilling this month, and it is expected that, combined with the potential of EL00147, additional material resource increases remain highly probable. Combined, the overall potential for a long-life, low-cost, high-margin critical and heavy rare earth opportunity at Makuutu is high.”