Rio Tinto Exploration now has the right to earn a 75 per cent interest in Antipa Minerals’ Citadel project in Western Australia, having fulfilled $60 million exploration spending.
The Rio Tinto subsidiary has been committed to its joint venture (JV) with Antipa at Citadel since 2015.
A 75 per cent stake is the maximum Rio can earn under the farm-in terms.
Rio’s $60 million exploration spending was allocated to Citadel’s 2052-metre drilling program designed to test prospective copper-gold targets, and an airborne electromagnetic (AEM) survey that covered a 600-square-kilometre area.
The AEM survey was not included in the original Rio Tinto exploration program and budget for this field season, and represented an additional exploration.
Rio’s funding also covers the review of Citadel’s wider project area, including gold-copper-silver-tungsten mineral resources hosting Calibre and Magnum deposits. Significant resource targets have been identified at Calibre where exploration activities remain ongoing.
Other exploration activities that are under way are data processing and analysis of the AEM survey, evaluation of exploration opportunities across the broader project area and planning for next year’s exploration program.
Citadel is in the Paterson Province, 80 kilometres north of Newcrest Mining’s Telfer gold-copper-silver mine in northern Western Australia.