- Ionic Rare Earths (IXR) has begun metallurgical and heap leach testwork for the Makuutu Rare Earths Project in Uganda
- These programs are expected to run throughout the course of this year and will ultimately feed into the planned demonstration plant which will be initiated early next year
- Ionic Rare Earths is also aiming to complete a bankable feasibility study next year which will take its current 51 per cent interest in Makuutu to 60 per cent
- In addition to these news, the company has delayed its scoping study to mid-April
- Following this news, company shares have dropped 5.56 per cent and are trading at 5.1 cents
Ionic Rare Earths (IXR) has begun a phase two metallurgical testwork program at the ALS Metallurgy lab in Balcatta, WA.
This program will allow the company to better understand the metallurgical performance of the mineral resource estimate areas at its 51 per cent-owned Makuutu Rare Earths Project in Uganda.
After being upgraded by a staggering 210 per cent earlier this month, Makuutu has a mineral resource estimate of 315 million tonnes at 650 parts per million total rare earth oxide with a cut-off grade of 200 parts per million — not including cerium oxide.
Pleasingly, the upgraded resource positions the Makuutu project as one of the biggest ionic absorption clay (IAC) deposits in the world.
The testwork program is expected to be completed in the final quarter of the year and the findings will be applied to a feasibility study for Makuutu Rare Earths Project. The program will also analyse scandium extraction upon the optimised conditions.
In addition, IXR has commenced heap leach testwork in Sydney and is expected to run throughout the year. The initial work has confirmed the IAC heap leach desorption conditions maintain percolation properties and don’t show any fatal flaws.
The 2021 metallurgical work will ultimately feed into the proposed demonstration plant at the project which IXR plans to initiate early next year. Also taking place next year, is a bankable feasibility study which will see Ionic Rare Earths increase its 51 per cent interest in Makuutu to 60 per cent.
Ionic Rare Earths has also delayed its scoping study to mid-April. The company says it’s working through the update to reflect the larger scale of the project.
Company shares have dropped 5.56 per cent and are trading at 5.1 cents at 11:01 am AEDT.