Ionic Rare Earths granted mining licence in Uganda

Australia’s Ionic Rare Earths Ltd (ASX: IXR) has been provisionally granted a mining licence for its Makuutu project in Uganda, marking the first large-scale mining licence to be awarded in the African nation.

The Stage 1 mining licence covers approximately 44 square kilometers of the project’s near 300 square kilometers of tenements at Makuutu.

“This is an important step forward for Ionic Rare Earths in mining, refining and recycling the heavy rare earths critical for the energy transition, advanced manufacturing and defense,” Ionic Rare Earths managing director Tim Harrison said in a news release.

“This reinforces the Makuutu heavy rare earth project as one of the world’s largest and most advanced development-ready heavy rare earth element assets.”

Currently, the company’s greater Makuutu mineral resource estimate is estimated at 532 million tonnes grading 640 parts per million (ppm) total rare earth oxide (TREO) with a cut-off grade of 200 ppm TREO minus cerium oxide (CeO2).

In March 2023, Ionic announced a positive Stage 1 definitive feasibility study (DFS) for the first of six tenements to progress to a mining licence application, which is pending in Uganda.

The Makuutu Stage 1 DFS defined a 35-year life initial project producing a 71% rich magnet and heavy rare earth carbonate product basket and the potential for significant scale-up through additional tenements, according to the company.

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