Ionic Rare Earths Limited (“IonicRE” or “the Company”) (ASX: IXR) is pleased to provide an update to marketing activities underway promoting the substantial upside potential of Scandium co-product from the Makuutu Rare Earths Project (“Makuutu”) in Uganda.
Ionic Rare Earths Limited
(“IonicRE” or “the Company”) (ASX: IXR) is pleased to provide an update to marketing activities underway promoting the substantial upside potential of Scandium co-product from the Makuutu Rare Earths Project (“Makuutu”) in Uganda.
Since the Company announced the initiation of scandium marketing activities on 28 January 2021, the Company has further increased the long life potential of Makuutu with a substantial near 4 fold increase in the contained Scandium Oxide (Sc2O3) resource from prior 2,300 tonnes to 9,450 tonnes as per the Mineral Resource Estimate announced 3 March 2021 (refer Table 1).
The Scoping Study announced 29 April 2021 provided an overview of the potential for Sc2O3 production from Makuutu, with initial production produced from 1 module of approximately 20-25 tonnes Sc2O3 in Year 1 ramping up to 90-100 tonnes by year 10. Negligible additional cost is incurred in the recovery and production of Sc2O3, which will report to the mixed rare earth carbonate (MREC) product at Makuutu. The low capex development at Makuutu is a clear differentiator to other potential scandium sources, and provides IonicRE with a tremendous advantage to help build and establish a key foothold in what the Company expects will be metal of high demand once initial supply can be demonstrated.
- Makuutu is currently the 3rd largest reported scandium resource globally, currently containing over 9,450 tonnes within current MRE
- Scandium resource potential expected to grow with substantial exploration upside identified at Makuutu, specifically in eastern tenement EL00147, and northwestern tenements application TN03573 (pending)
- IonicRE positioning itself to become a key player in the Sc2O3 market, with initial plans to produce 20-25 tpa, and progressively ramp up production over 10 years to approx. 90-100 tpa
- Current pricing for Scandium Oxide (Sc2O3) trading at between US$1,000/kg to US$4,000/kg in opaque market
- Accelerated interest in Scandium assets globally, with Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) and RUSAL (SEHK:486) recently announcing entry into the Sc2O3 market
- Scandium potential at Makuutu to focus on supplying large addressable markets within the aerospace, automotive and defense sectors, in addition to fuel cell and 3D printed specialty component applications