On Target For MRE Update In Uganda
Ionic Rare Earths Limited (ASX: IXR) has extended the existing REE clay mineralisation close to surface at Makuutu Western Zone at its 51% owned Makuutu Rare Earths Project in Uganda.
The positive news came as the company released tranche six drill assays from the recently completed Phase 2 drill programme at Makuutu,
The assay results include 11 resource extension holes drilled on the Makuutu Western Zone (MWZ) exploration target areas D and E, and 23 holes drilled to infill the current Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) area.
The Mineral Resource update is due to commence upon the receipt of the final infill drill assays from 34 remaining holes, expected before the end of January.
Managing Director, Tim Harrison, said intervals above the resource cut-off grade of 300ppm TREO-Ce2O3 were achieved in all areas.
“These assay results extend and identify additional near surface REE clay mineralisation immediately west of the existing Mineral Resource area,” Mr Harrison said.
“The grade and thickness reported is as expected and consistent with other areas of the Makuutu project area. It confirms a very high success rate on the identification of clay REE mineralisation based upon the exploration targeting method used including the radiometrics trend.”
“These assays also include the first of the Phase 2 infill drilling results which show numerous high grade REE intervals with various zones of elevated HREO and CREO content. The remainder of the infill assays are expected by the end of the month, so we are planning for the Mineral Resource upgrade to commence shortly thereafter.”
The Phase 2 drill programme consisted of 3,745 metres of core drilling across the three (3) tested tenements at Makuutu. The aim of the programme was to validate the company’s initial Exploration Target, quantify the potential of the previous 26-kilometre-long Makuutu mineralisation corridor contained within licences RL0007, RL1693 and EL1766, and provide data for an upcoming mineral resource expansion, all of which has proven to be successful. Since that time, the newly awarded Exploration Licences have extended the Makuutu mineralisation corridor to 37-kilometres in length and a substantial increase in Exploration Target.
The Phase 2 drill programme tested an area which is more than three times greater than the area covered by the existing mineral resource estimate.
A Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) update is planned to start shortly once all drill hole assays have been reported. Due to advised assay backlogs and elevated sample quantities at the assay lab, it is expected the final drill hole assays will be received by the end of January, with the MRE update targeting completion by late Feb 2021.
Given the material increase in the MRE that is expected in late Feb 2021, the company will also be completing an update of the Scoping Study to reflect the significant increase in the scale of the Makuutu Rare Earths Project.
Mr Harrison said the updated Study has the potential to feature multiple process modules and present options for accelerated production capacity ramp up further to the scenarios considered in the Study