Mining licence approved at Makuutu by Ugandan DGSM

The Board of Ionic Rare Earths (IonicRE) has announced, via…

The Board of Ionic Rare Earths (IonicRE) has announced, via Rwenzori Rare Metals (Rwenzori), that the Ugandan Directorate of Geological Survey and Mines (DGSM) has approved the Large-Scale Mining Licence TN03834 for the Makuutu Heavy Rare Earth Project, covering Retention Licence (RL) 1693.

This approval comes after the recent show of support for the project from The Hon Dr Ruth Nankabirwa Ssentamu, the Ugandan government Minister for Energy and Mineral Development, who spoke highly of the project at the Africa Down Under Mining Conference in early September.

The approval to grant the mining licence follows the gazetting of the updated Mining and Minerals (Licencing) Regulations 2023 to provide a clear framework for mineral development in Uganda, and the submission of documentation which has been reviewed and approved by Ugandan DGSM. Subsequent to this, the MLA has been signed and gazetted in Uganda, paving the way for the formal issuance of the mining licence once the first annual fees have been paid and land access to the RL1693 has been verified by the Ugandan department.

The Stage 1 Mining Licence covers the area set out in IonicRE’s mining licence application, which includes approximately 44 km2 of the project’s almost 300 km2 of tenements at Makuutu. The company announced a positive Feasibility Study over RL1693 earlier this year and received approval to build a Demonstration Plant at Makuutu, which is progressing well.

Ionic Rare Earths Managing Director Tim Harrison said the notice received on the approval to grant the mining licence by the DGSM was an important milestone for the project.

“We are pleased with the announcement today that the DGSM has officially approved for granting the Large Scale Mining Licence TN03834 over RL 1693, which now completes all regulatory approvals on the award of the Mining Licence for the Makuutu Heavy Rare Earth Project. This is a vital step for Ionic Rare Earths and Rwenzori, and in mining, refining, and recycling heavy rare earths critical for the energy transition, advanced manufacturing, and defence.

“This announcement reinforces the Makuutu Project as one of the world’s largest and most advanced development-ready heavy rare earth element assets, and we look forward to progressing the next steps and commissioning our Demonstration Plant at Makuutu.”

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