Rio Tinto has increased its stake in the Citadel joint venture (JV) with Antipa Minerals in Western Australia, after solely funding more than $25 million in the gold-copper project.
The Citadel JV has increased its 2021 exploration budget from $13.8 million to $24.5 million, with Rio Tinto lifting its stake from 51 per cent to 65 per cent.
Antipa stated the Citadel JV exploration program, which is operated by Rio Tinto, has further drilling activities at the Calibre and Magnum gold-copper deposits as part of its expanded program.
The JV partners have several exploration activities planned this year, including an additional 6000 to 7000 metres of drilling.
The drill program focusses on the Magnum Dome area of the Citadel project, which hosts both the Calibre and Magnum gold-copper-silver resources.
Other activities include appraisal work of early stage project development, preliminary metallurgical test-work, and camp infrastructure installation and expansion at the Calibre deposit. A geophysical survey is also scheduled for mid-April.
Antipa managing director Roger Mason welcomed the project’s increased budget.
“The recent increase in the Citadel JV’s 2021 budget is a testament to the joint venture’s strong belief in the potential of this project,” he said.
“The 2021 program will be the largest yet and we look forward to continuing to advance the high potential Calibre and Magnum resources as well as test numerous greenfield targets.”
The Citadel JV project is located in the Paterson Province region of Western Australia and is 80 kilometres north of Newcrest’s Telfer gold-copper-silver mine.
Citadel contains a mineral resource of 63.8 million tonnes at 0.8 grams per tonne of gold and 0.2 per cent copper for 1.6 million ounces of gold and 127,000 tonnes of copper.
Antipa is expecting this figure to be updated in the current quarter.