Ionic Rare Earths Limited Stock Market Press Releases and Company Profile
Nearing First Rare Earth Production at Makuutu
Nearing First Rare Earth Production at Makuutu

Melbourne, Mar 7, 2024 AEST (ABN Newswire) - Ionic Rare Earths Limited (googlechartASX:IXR) (googlechartIXRRF:OTCMKTS) is pleased to announce the successful completion of construction and commissioning of Phase 1 at its technical facility and Demonstration Plant at the Makuutu Rare Earths Project ("Makuutu") in Uganda. Makuutu is being developed by IonicRE's local Ugandan operating entity Rwenzori Rare Metals Limited ("RRM").

- First Mixed Rare Earth Carbonate (MREC) production fast approaching from Makuutu Demonstration Plant;

- Construction and commissioning of Phase 1 of the technical facility complete with metallurgical equipment installed and tested, with zero HSE incidents and strong community support;

- Mineral processing activity commencing with 24-hour operations to agglomerate and prepare samples for column and crib desorption trials;

- Makuutu Demonstration Plant to validate test work and provide strong basis for grade control, mine design, material handling, metallurgical reconciliation, and construction while maximising inputs to the updated Makuutu DFS; and

- Makuutu's basket contains 71% magnet and heavy rare earths content, and is one of the most advanced heavy rare earth projects globally available as a source for new supply chains emerging across Europe, the US, and Asia.

The completion of the Makuutu Demonstration Plant technical facility is a significant milestone for the Company, made possible by the collective efforts of its dedicated team and strong support from the local community. The Demonstration Plant's construction and commissioning proceeded seamlessly, with no Health, Safety, and Environment (HSE) incidents reported throughout the entire process. This achievement underscores IonicRE's unwavering commitment to prioritising safety and environmental stewardship in all aspects of its operations.

Moreover, the Company is proud to highlight its collaboration with the local community, which played a crucial role in the project's success. Many individuals from the local community were employed as casual labourers, fostering economic growth, and strengthening community ties in the process.

The demonstration technical equipment has been installed and commissioned with the aim of Phase 1 in further optimising metallurgical test work and to provide further technical validation bases for grade control, mine design, material handling, metallurgical reconciliation, and construction activity whilst also supporting Project financing and strategic partner activity.

At the technical facility, front end processing of the material was completed during February 2024 which included the homogenisation, screening, and sizing of materials, which all provided critical inputs to the desorption processes which are progressing well.

In addition, with the primary construction works completed, the Demonstration Plant is in the process of ramping up its operations to a 24-hour schedule to further reduce development time to scale up mixed rare earth carbonate (MREC) production which is expected within the next fortnight.

The initial stage of activity at the Makuutu Demonstration Plant positions IonicRE favourably in meeting the growing demand for these critical elements across the various high-tech industries which are so dependent on rare earths.

Ionic Rare Earths' Managing Director Mr Tim Harrison commented;

"We are delighted to announce the successful completion of our Demonstration Plant Phase 1 commissioning, with expected first MREC production in the next two weeks."

"This represents another step towards development at Makuutu. This work is essential to validating our mine development plan and generating MREC samples for off-take discussions with potential partners over the next few months. The progress at Makuutu also reaffirms our position as a strategic resource for near-term development and a secure, long-term supply of magnet and heavy rare earths for new supply chains to emerge."

"The progress achieved over the past 9 months since works started on site with the Demonstration Plant is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our team, and the unwavering support of the local community."

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About Ionic Rare Earths Limited

Ionic Rare Earths ASX:IXRIonic Rare Earths Limited (ASX:IXR) (OTCMKTS:IXRRF) is focused on developing its flagship Makuutu Rare Earths Project in Uganda into a significant long life, low-cost, supplier of high-value critical and heavy rare earths.

Makuutu is an advanced-stage, ionic adsorption clay-hosted project highlighted by near-surface mineralisation, significant exploration upside, excellent metallurgical characteristics and access to tier-one infrastructure.

The ionic adsorption clay-hosted geology at Makuutu is similar to major rare earths projects in Southern China, which are responsible for the majority of global supply of low cost heavy and critical rare earths, specifically the high value magnet metals (Dysprosium and Terbium) Heavy Rare Earths (>98% originating from ionic clays). Metallurgical testing at Makuutu has returned excellent recovery rates, which provide multiple avenues for a simple process route.

Makuutu is well-supported by tier-one existing infrastructure which includes access to major highways, roads, power, water and a professional workforce.

Rare Earths will play a critical role in the future of clean energy. Rare Earths are a key ingredient in the permanent magnets found in wind turbines and electric vehicles.

IonicRE is led by an experienced and proven team, who have the capabilities to deliver Makuutu into production and realise value for all stakeholders. 


Tim Harrison
Ionic Rare Earths Limited
T: +61 (3) 9776 3434

For Investor Relations
Peter Taylor
NWR Communications
T: +61 (0) 412 036 231

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