- Ionic Rare Earths (IXR) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Chinalco to accelerate its Makuutu Rare Earths Project in Uganda
- Chinalco is a world-leading rare earths miner who will use its expertise to advance mine development and potential offtake discussions or funding
- The China-based company carried out extensive due diligence work and concluded the Makuutu project is not only of high-quality but a globally strategic rare earth element resource
- Ionic Rare Earths expects to release a scoping study for the Makuutu project later this month
- Company shares are up 7.14 per cent and are trading at 6 cents
Ionic Rare Earths (IXR) has signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Chinalco.
The MOU will see the companies work together to accelerate development and production at Ionic Rare Earths' Makuutu Rare Earths Project in Uganda. The deal also includes the potential for an offtake agreement and project funding.
While IXR granted the China company a 12-month exclusivity period, Ionic Rare Earths may continue discussions with potential counterparties that began before the MOU was signed. However, it cannot initiate new discussions that relate to the objectives of this deal.
Chinalco is the world's largest market capitalised rare earth miner and separator with a number of subsidiaries that operate heavy rare earth element mines in China and additional rare earth element (REE) separation plants in the Jiangsu province.
Before the deal with Ionic Rare Earths was struck, Chinalco conducted extensive due diligence on the Makuutu project and concluded that it's not only a high-quality REE project, but a globally strategic critical and heavy REE resource.
"We are very pleased to have signed this MoU which further endorses the quality of the project and its strategic importance and will now enable the Makuutu Rare Earths Project to rapidly advance activities in the near term," IXR Managing Director Tim Harrison said.
"From the outset of our discussions, it was clear that there existed a key alignment between IonicRE and Chinalco on the development of Makuutu," he added.
Significantly this MOU was signed just before a scoping study for the Makuutu project is due to be released later this month.
Company shares are up 6.14 per cent and are trading at 6 cents at 12:47 pm AEST.