Ionic Rare Earths Limited, also known as IonicRE (ASX:IXR), is a publicly listed Australian company with plans to be a major player in the future supply of critical and heavy rare earths.
IonicRE is focused on developing its flagship Makuutu Rare Earths Project in Uganda into a significant, long life, high margin supplier of high-value critical and heavy rare earth oxides (REO). Makuutu is an advanced-stage, ionic adsorption clay (IAC) hosted rare earth element (REE) project highlighted by near-surface mineralisation, significant exploration upside, excellent metallurgical characteristics, and access to tier one infrastructure.
The clay-hosted geology at Makuutu is similar to major ionic adsorption clay REE projects in southern China, which are responsible for the majority of the global supply of low-cost, high-value Heavy REOs (>95% originating from IAC deposits). Metallurgical testing at Makuutu has returned excellent recovery rates for an IAC deposit, which provide multiple avenues for a low-CAPEX process route. Makuutu is well-supported by tier-one existing infrastructure, including access to major highways, roads, power, water, and a professional workforce.
Makuutu stands out from the crowd of REE projects globally, demonstrating best in class attributes, such as:
- Makuutu’s Rare Earth Basket has the high content of critical and heavy rare earths (73%) required to enable the transition to carbon neutrality – more than double that of other market peers;
- Makuutu has a low capital development (US$89M), enabling a scalable modular approach, meaning the operation can be expanded using large free cash flows from the project;
- High payability mixed rare earth carbonate product with no radionuclides;
- Makuutu has a long-life asset potential of 27 years already defined, with additional exploration upside scope to increase to a multi-generational producer of critical and heavy REEs; and
- IonicRE is progressing development at Makuutu to have a minimal carbon footprint. The project will have a positive rehabilitation strategy, including developing new industry and demonstrating corporate citizen leadership in Uganda, working with local and government stakeholders to build a future where everyone has a pathway to health and opportunity.
Additionally, IonicRE is also exploring the development of a standalone, cutting-edge refinery to provide new, secure, and traceable rare earth refined products for marketing to western end users.
Global demand for REEs is expected to grow strongly on the back of increasing investment in clean, renewable power and transportation – especially wind turbines and electric vehicles (EVs). CRU forecasts that the market for NdPr – REEs critical for permanent magnets – will grow by approximately 350% by 2038.
Furthermore, Makuutu is one of the largest scandium resources globally; therefore, IonicRE is positioning itself as a key player in developing low-cost and scalable scandium production to meet the future requirements of light-weighting transportation via aluminium-scandium alloys.
IonicRE is perfectly situated to become a global player in the technology metals space for many decades to come.
AREAS OF EXPERTISE:
- Rare Earth mining, processing and production
- Rare Earth refining
- Rare Earth supply chain
- Heavy Rare Earths
- Magnet Rare Earths