Rio Tinto has moved ahead with the next stage of the Citadel joint venture (JV) project with Antipa Minerals in the Paterson Province, Western Australia.
This would see Rio Tinto’s interest in Citadel increase to 65 per cent, after spending an additional $14 million within five years.
Rio Tinto and Antipa both agreed to increase this spending period from three years to allow exploration activities to be completed.
Antipa anticipates Rio Tinto will commit to an exploration program in excess of $2 million this year.
The program comprises induced polarisation surveys along favourable structural corridors, interpretations of their completed airborne gravity survey and possible drilling to further evaluate the Calibre gold-copper-silver deposit.
The JV partners also plan to drill targets generated from last year’s exploration program.
Field activities are expected to commence in April.
“We are very pleased that Rio Tinto has decided to continue to sole fund exploration on the Citadel tenements and we look forward to extending what has been a very rewarding partnership to date,” Antipa chairman Stephen Power said.
“The Calibre and Magnum resources within Citadel have significant potential for further growth, which, together with the regional exploration targets, establishes excellent growth prospects for (Antipa).”
Rio Tinto recently earned an initial 51 per cent interest in Citadel by sole funding $11 million of exploration expenditure since October 2015.