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The Board of Ionic Rare Earths Limited (“IonicRE” or “The Company”) (ASX: IXR) is pleased to report the substantial 70% increase to the total Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) and a material increase in resource confidence classification, at its 51% owned Makuutu Rare Earths Project (“Makuutu”).
- Significant 70% increase in Makuutu Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) exceeds expectation:
- Mineral Resource Estimate increased to 532 million tonnes at 640 ppm TREO, maintaining a cut-off grade of 200 parts per million (ppm) Total Rare Earth Oxide minus CeO2 (TREO-CeO2)
- Indicated Resource component increased 512% to 404 million tonnes at 670 ppm TREO
- Indicated Resource base is approximately 76% of the total Mineral Resource which will support the Feasibility Study
- Makuutu now cementing its position as key strategic, near development ready, non-China controlled ionic adsorption clay (IAC) resource, and a potential long- life supplier of magnet and heavy rare earths, with product available for US and EU markets
- Revised Makuutu Exploration Target underway to incorporate new data including highly successful Phase 3 scout drilling results
The updated Makuutu MRE is estimated at 532 million tonnes at 640ppm Total Rare Earth Oxide (TREO), above a cut-off grade of 200 parts per million (ppm) TREO minus CeO2 (TREO-CeO2). The Indicated component of the MRE has been increased to 404 million tonnes at 670 ppm TREO, representing a 512% increase on the previous March 2021 Indicated resource estimate1.
This updated MRE cements Makuutu amongst the world’s largest ionic adsorption clay (IAC) deposits, with the potential to significantly increase, and as a globally strategic resource for low-cost, high-margin and long-term security of magnet and heavy rare earth oxide (HREO) supply.
Additionally, the updated Makuutu MRE contains a significant portion of highly valuable HREO (25%) and critical rare earth oxides (CREO, 34%), which collectively account for a substantial 42% of the Resource mineralisation.
The Makuutu MRE has been updated based on the following key inputs:
- Phase 4 drill program of 432 HQ core drill holes for 8,200 metres, drilled between June and November 2021. A total of 8,503 samples from the drilling were analysed for a multi- element suite by ALS Perth laboratory;
- Total drilling in the MRE is 711 HQ core drill holes for 12,935 metres and 14,044 analysed samples from 2020 and 2021 drilling campaigns;
- The majority of the Phase 4 drilling was completed to provide a 200-metre grid of infill holes, in conjunction with previous programs, over the much of the resource area. This has increased resource confidence to Indicated status for these areas of the MRE;
- 1,206 insitu dry bulk density measurements from drill core samples; and
- Accurate surface digital terrain model (DTM) derived from high resolution satellite imagery acquired in 2021 covering all resource areas.
Commenting on this significant MRE update, IonicRE’s Managing Director, Mr Tim Harrison said:
“This resource update at Makuutu has significantly exceeded my expectation. In essence, the mineralised system appears to be significantly larger than we had contemplated.”
“The potential of Makuutu is now clearly defined in a global context. This resource update will support the feasibility study currently underway, which will now look at incorporating both a faster ramp up and greater annual production capacity driven by a material step change in Indicated resources. The feasibility study to be completed later this year will be used to support a mining licence application expected to be submitted before the end of October 2022. Makuutu is clearly a unique asset, near development ready, with product to be available for markets developing in the US and Europe.”
“Beyond this MRE update, we will also review and update the previous Exploration Targets which will now be revised to incorporate new data plus the Phase 3 scout drilling from last year on EL00147 and the inclusion of the new tenement at EL00257.”
This article includes content from Ionic Rare Earths, licensed for the purpose of publishing on Investing News Australia. This article does not constitute financial product advice. It is your responsibility to perform proper due diligence before acting upon any information provided here. Please refer to our full disclaimer here.