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Africa|Construction|Installation|Mining|PROJECT
Africa|Construction|Installation|Mining|PROJECT
africa|construction|installation|mining|project

Makuutu rare earths project, Uganda – update

Drill core from the Makuutu rare earths project

Photo by Ionic Rare Earths

15th December 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 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 signed a share purchase agreement with Rare Earth Elements Africa to acquire a further 34% interest in RRM. Completion of the transaction will increase its shareholding to 94%, which the company has highlighted as a considerable milestone.

According to Ionic, this is a substantial step forward in progressing the financing and offtake discussions with multiple third parties that have expressed a strong interest in partnering with the company to access the heavy rare earth product achieved through the development of the project.

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.

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Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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