The Makuutu scoping study released in April 2021 was based on only indicated resources and returned an NPV of US$321 million (post-tax) and an IRR of 38% for an open pit operation over an initial 11-year mine life.
When including the inferred resource, Ionic indicated potential extension to a 27-year life with further exploration upside also identified.
Makuutu is one of the very few adsorption clay (IAC) deposits outside of southern China, where IAC deposits are prevalent.
With the current resource tonnage classified as 21% indicated and 79% inferred, Ionic has completed a substantial infill program in October to convert more tonnes to indicated and measured resources, alongside first-pass drilling at specific exploration targets to add further resources.
The results of these programmes will underpin a feasibility study, expected by October 2022 to support a long life mining licence application and plans for production by 2024.