Ionic Rare Earths Limited (ASX: IXR) has made progress on the construction of the technical facility and demonstration plant at the Makuutu Rare Earths Project in Uganda, through a local Ugandan operating entity Rwenzori Rare Metals Limited.
At the technical facility, desorption columns have undergone water commissioning in order to pretest the ore before commencement of test work. Irrigation tests have also been undertaken to ensure the desorption processes operate as designed.
Tim Harrison, managing director, commented, the progress at the demonstration plant site over the last two weeks has been significant with all the elements of having an operational demonstration plant coming together. These works are essential to validating our mine development plan and generating mixed rare earth carbonate (MREC) sample for off-take to our potential partners in Q1 2024. This work programme will also demonstrate our position as a strategic resource for near-term development and a secure, long-term supply of magnet and heavy rare earth oxide (REO).”
The inspection of in-country manufactured equipment is currently underway at vendor premises to ensure safety and functionality prior to taking receipt of the equipment, with the delivery to site expected this week.
Also, the crib shells, which are to be used to accommodate the stacked ore for desorption tests have been constructed and are currently in the process of being assembled for commissioning.
In addition to the technical facility works at the demonstration plant, an auger drill has been mobilized to the first test mine pit site, where bulk sample collection drilling has commenced in order to provide test material for Makuutu test facility.
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