DRA tasked to save costs at Makuutu

Makuutu project drill cores

Makuutu project drill cores

19th September 2023

By: Esmarie Iannucci

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor: Australasia


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PERTH ( – Rare earths developer Ionic Rare Earths has appointed engineering and project house DRA Global to review the definitive feasibility study (DFS) for the Makuutu rare earths project, in Uganda.

Ionic said on Tuesday that the company was hoping to identify opportunities for cost efficiencies, time saving and scale, with DRA also to advise on the demonstration plant programme at Makuutu in order to support a final investment decision.

The DFS estimated that the Stage 1 development of the Makuutu project would require a capital investment of $120.8-million to support the five-million-tonne-a-year project, which would deliver 40 090 t of rare earth oxide equivalent product.

The DFS estimated an earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation of A$2.29-billion, a post-tax free cash flow of A$1.46-billion, a net present value of A$580-million and an internal rate of return of 32.7%.

DRA Global will focus on the optimisation of mining pit design and operations and conduct a detailed review of the Stage 1 DFS and Phase 2 of the demonstration plant. The company will also identify potential opportunities for overall project enhancement.

“Our focus on the delivery of the Makuutu heavy rare earths project in Uganda positions us to provide a secure, sustainable, and traceable supply of magnet rare earth oxides,” said Ionic MD Tim Harrison.

“Along with our Belfast recycling facility, the Makuutu project is key to us harnessing our technology to accelerate our mining, refining and recycling of magnets and heavy rare earths which are critical for the energy transition, advanced manufacturing and defence.”

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter



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