Makuutu rare earths project, Uganda

9th June 2023 By: Sheila Barradas - Creamer Media Research Coordinator & Senior Deputy Editor

Makuutu rare earths project, Uganda

Photo by: IonicRE

Name of the Project
Makuutu rare earths project.

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) is a 51% owner of RRM and progressing to 60% with the completion of the definitive feasibility study (DFS). 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 for 146 654 t of contained total rare-earth oxide.

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 $120.8-million.

Planned Start/End Date
Not stated.

Latest Developments
Makuutu is advancing towards a final investment decision.

Key Contracts, Suppliers and Consultants
None stated.

Contact Details for Project Information
IonicRE, tel +61 3 9776 3434 or email