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Makuutu rare earths project, Uganda – update

Drill core from the Makuutu project

Photo by Ionic Rare Earths

24th November 2023

By: Sheila Barradas

Creamer Media Research Coordinator & Senior Deputy Editor

     

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Name of the Project
Makuutu rare earths project.

Location
Uganda, 120 km east of Kampala.

Project Owner/s
Ugandan company Rwenzori Rare Metals (RRM), which owns 100% of the Makuutu rare earths project. Ionic Rare Earths (IonicRE) owns 60% of RRM. IonicRE also maintains a first right over the remaining 40% of the project.

Project Description
The Stage 1 DFS proposes an openpit mining operation at an annualised mining rate of five-million tonnes a year of mineralisation from the project for total rare-earth oxide equivalent production of 40 090 t.

The maiden ore reserve for Stage 1 over retention licence 1693 is 172.9-million tonnes grading 848 parts per million total rare-earth oxide (TREO) for 146 654 t of contained TREO.

Stage 1 envisages production of 1 300 t/y of rare earths in the first ten years, averaging 1 156 t/y over the estimated 35-year mine life.

Potential Job Creation
Not stated.

Net Present Value/Internal Rate of Return
The project has a pretax net present value, at an 8% discount rate, of $406-million and internal rate of return of 32.7%, with a payback of about three years.

Capital Expenditure
The project has an initial capital expenditure of $120.8-million.

Planned Start/End Date
Construction started on a demonstration plant at the project in August 2023.

Latest Developments
IonicRE has received commitments to raise $5.9-million through a share placement of about 281-million fully paid ordinary shares at an issue price of $0.021.

The placement was oversubscribed and was strongly supported by key existing shareholders and new institutional investors.

The company continues to pursue advanced talks to increase its interest in the Makuutu project from the 60% it already holds.

The latest updates on the company's progress with the demonstration plant at Makuutu and the recycling facility owned by Ionic Technologies in Belfast, in the UK, all point to promising news flow in the months ahead, IonicRE MD Tim Harrison has said.

Key Contracts, Suppliers and Consultants
RRM (installation contract); and DRA Global (DFS review).

Contact Details for Project Information
IonicRE, tel +61 3 9776 3434 or email admin@ionicre.com.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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