Home » Ionic Rare Earths Granted First Large-Scale Mining License in Uganda for Makuutu Project

Ionic Rare Earths Granted First Large-Scale Mining License in Uganda for Makuutu Project

Ionic Rare Earths Breaks Ground with Historic Mining License for Makuutu Project

by Ikeoluwa Ogungbangbe

Australia’s Ionic Rare Earths Ltd (ASX: IXR) has reached a significant milestone with the provisional granting of a mining licence for its Makuutu project in Uganda. This marks a historic achievement as it becomes the first large-scale mining licence to be awarded in the African nation.

The Stage 1 mining licence encompasses an expansive 44 square kilometers within the project’s sprawling 300 square kilometers of tenements located at Makuutu, Uganda. This development comes as a major boost to Ionic Rare Earths, which is at the forefront of mining, refining, and recycling heavy rare earths critical for the global energy transition, advanced manufacturing, and defense industries.

Tim Harrison, Managing Director of Ionic Rare Earths, expressed his enthusiasm in a recent news release, stating, “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. 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.”

Ionic Rare Earths’ greater Makuutu mineral resource estimate currently stands at a staggering 532 million tonnes, with a grading of 640 parts per million (ppm) total rare earth oxide (TREO), considering a cut-off grade of 200 ppm TREO minus cerium oxide (CeO2).

This significant achievement follows the company’s announcement in March 2023 of a positive Stage 1 definitive feasibility study (DFS) for the first of six tenements, paving the way for the mining licence application, which is now pending in Uganda. The Makuutu Stage 1 DFS outlines a 35-year initial project life, producing a 71% rich magnet and heavy rare earth carbonate product basket, with the potential for substantial expansion through additional tenements.

With this groundbreaking development in Uganda, Ionic Rare Earths has not only marked its place as a pioneer in rare earth mining but has also cemented its commitment to advancing the global transition towards sustainable energy and cutting-edge manufacturing technologies.

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