Ionic Rare Earths


Primary ticker: ASX:IXR
Stage of development: Exploration, Development, Production
Primary minerals: Rare Earths
Project to promote: Makuutu Project
Project location: Uganda
Corporate presentation: Click here

Ionic Rare Earths (ASX:IXR) is focused on developing its flagship Makuutu Rare Earths Project in Uganda into a significant, long life, high margin, supplier of high-value magnet and heavy rare earths oxides (REO). Makuutu is an advanced-stage, ionic adsorption clay (IAC) hosted rare earth element (REE) project highlighted by near-surface mineralization, significant exploration upside, excellent metallurgical characteristics, and access to tier one infrastructure. The clay-hosted geology at Makuutu is similar to major IAC rare earths projects in southern China, which are responsible for the majority of global supply of low-cost rare earths, specifically the high value Heavy REOs (>95% originating from IAC). Metallurgical testing at Makuutu has returned excellent recovery rates, which provide multiple avenues for a low-CAPEX process route. Makuutu is well-supported by tier-one existing infrastructure which includes access to major highways, roads, power, water and a professional workforce.

AUD$7.2M (31 December 2021)
Debt: Nil

Major shareholders:
Mr Bilal Ahmad – 4.64%
Mr Sufian Ahmad – 4.62%
Ms Chunyan Niu – 2.73%
BNP Paribas Noms – 4.51%
Management Ownership – 11%

Management Profile

Tim Harrison – Managing Director

Tim Harrison is the Managing Director of Ionic Rare Earths Limited. Tim has been driving development and value creation at IonicRE since he initially joined as Makuutu Rare Earths Project Manager in February 2020, was later appointed CEO in June 2020, and finally appointed MD in December 2020.


Tim has over 20 years of experience and an extensive and successful track record in the fields of both mineral processing and hydrometallurgy, that has involved roles in the full life cycle of project development to operations.

Tim holds a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering degree from Adelaide University.

What is your rationale for taking part 121 Mining Investment?

We are looking for cornerstone and strategic institutional investment to support the next phase of development (Feasibility Study and Demonstration Plant) to advance Makuutu Rare Earths Project to FID in late 2022.

What recent news would you like to highlight to investors attending?

22 March 2022 – 100% Success Rate for Phase 4 Tranche 6 Infill Drill Results
Ionic Rare Earths announced sixth and final Tranche of Phase 4 drilling results were received with all 66 holes intersecting rare earth element (REE) mineralised clay above
the Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) cut-off grade. The 100% success rate of Phase 4 drill program will now feed into the MRE update, which has commenced with expected delivery in Q2 2022.
7 March 2022 – Seren Technologies Acquisition Update
Ionic Rare Earths provides an update on the acquisition of 100% of Seren Technologies Limited (SerenTech), a UK private company with unique and leading-edge rare earth separation technology. The application of SerenTech patented technology has achieved separated and refined products to high purity with REO grades above 99.9% demonstrated at pilot scale.
7 February 2022 – Tranche 5 Infill Drill Results Deliver 100% Success Rate
Ionic Rare Earths announced the results of assays for Tranche Five (5) of the 8,220 metre Phase 4 drill program completed in October 2021 at the Makuutu Rare Earths Project.
Drill assay results have been received for a further 110 drill holes making up the Tranche 5 submission. The results are for holes drilled within the existing inferred and indicated Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) at the Makuutu Central Zone, resource area I, and the evaluate Exploration Target C and E, that were excluded from the 2021 MRE due to limited drill hole density.
6 January 2022 – Thickest Intervals to Date at Makuutu, Assay Results Excel
Ionic Rare Earths announced the results of assays for Tranche Four (4) of the 8,220 metre Phase 4 drill program completed in October 2021 at the Makuutu Rare Earths Project in Uganda.
Drilling results to date confirm that Makuutu is a large scale, ionic adsorption clay (IAC) hosted rare earth element (REE) project, with extension potential identified east and to the northwest. The Project is well supported by existing infrastructure and is one of a few confirmed IAC deposits identified globally, outside of China. Drill assay results have been received for a further 75 drill holes making up the Tranche 4 submission.

What are your key goals for the next 3, 6 and 12 months?

3 Months:
– Advance the Makuutu FS engineering
– Update the mineral resource estimate at Makuutu


6 Months:

– Progress to Phase 2 Metallurgical variability and testwork
– Ongoing exploration activity – RAB Phase 3 metallurgical testwork

– Finalise Makuutu Project Approvals


12 Months:

– Makuutu Feasibility Study
– Submit application for a mining license at Makuutu
– Refinery Scoping Study for downstream opportunity

What do you see as the key risks and challenges facing your company at the moment and how are you overcoming these?

Time – we are looking to expedite work to bring the project to production in an accelerated timeframe. To achieve this we need to raise additional funding to support the program.
Funds – to support accelerated program. We are actively looking for the right strategic partner to bring Makuutu to production.
Awareness – market has very little knowledge of ionic adsorption clay deposits so we have attempted to raise awareness of strategic importance, basket content and long term importance of Makuutu to provide long term alternative, secure and traceable heavy rare earth supply.

What do you think makes your company such a compelling investment?

As an ionic adsorption clay (IAC), Makuutu is rare and considered a highly sought after ‘holy grail of rare earth mineralisation’.
The dominance of the Chinese rare earth industry is underpinned by their ability to produce vast quantities of CREO/HREOs from ionic adsorption clays. IACs have a lower capital hurdle and higher pay ability product which make IACs more valuable sources of REOs with Chinese IAC’s being heavily overmined over the past 30 years, the Chinese have diminished reserves and were forced to implement quotas to prioritise internal supply
As a long life asset, Makuutu stands to benefit greatly given its low-cost, long-life, and high-margin CREO/HREO product attributes.

What are the top 3 key investor takeaways?

– The Basket; High content of critical and heavy rare earths required to enable transition to carbon neutrality.
– Low capital development; Scalable modular approach means that we can expand the operation from initial capital investment using free cash flows from the project.
– Long life; 27 years defined but scope to increase this to be much greater with additional exploration upside pending.