Antipa Minerals’ exploration at the Citadel joint venture project in Western Australia will extend to the vicinity of Rio Tinto’s Winu prospect this year.
The exploration will recommence in June to identify sulphides that are associated with Winu (Rio Tinto) and Telfer (Newcrest Mining) style copper-gold-silver mineral systems.
JV partner Rio Tinto will fully fund the exploration program following its decision to allocate $3.4 million to the project this year.
The program is expected to satisfy stage two of the Citadel farm-in. Completion of the exploration program would give Rio Tinto a 51 per cent interest in Citadel.
Rio Tinto could earn up to 65 per cent of Citadel by sole funding a further $14 million expenditure within an additional three-year period. Its interest in Citadel can be heightened to 75 per cent with a $35 million expenditure in the following three years.
Antipa, which resumed as operator of Citadel in March, will perform an electrical geophysical survey covering over 620 square kilometres within the project.
It will also conduct up to 10,300 metres of air core, reverse circulation and diamond core drill testing of both brownfield and greenfield targets.
In conjunction with the ongoing work at Citadel, Rio Tinto is advancing its neighbouring Winu discovery where initial results from its first phase of drilling were declared “encouraging” by chief executive Jean-Sébastien Jacques.
Rio Tinto has more than 70 programs under way with activity in seven commodities across 16 countries.