Rio Tinto to fund $9.2m Paterson Province exploration program

Rio Tinto will fund the entire 2020 Citadel joint venture exploration program in Western Australia following a review of the Calibre gold-copper deposit’s potential and possible coronavirus impacts.

The 2020 program will see partners Antipa Minerals and Rio Tinto complete up to 13,000 metres of combined reverse circulation and diamond resource drilling at the Paterson Province prospect.

Commencing this quarter, the exploration will include extensive gradient array induced polarisation surveys across the deposit’s structural corridors, which are prospective for further gold and/or copper mineralisation.

Rio Tinto and Antipa Minerals will also be processing data from a 2019 airborne gravity gradiometer survey and ongoing reviews of Calibre drilling results and broader Magnum Dome modelling to identify further priority target areas.

The Citadel project is 45 kilometres east of Rio Tinto’s Winu copper-gold development project in the Paterson province.

The Calibre deposit within Citadel represents a very large-scale mineral system, with mineralisation open in several directions beneath 80 metres of sedimentary cover.

Rio Tinto elected to proceed with the next stage of its earn-in into Citadel in January. The major miner has the right to spend an additional $14 million within five years to increase its interest in the joint venture from 51 per cent to 65 per cent.

The $9.2 million exploration program is designed to ensure the safety and well-being of employees, contractors and local Indigenous groups, complying under government coronavirus restrictions.

Due to this, Antipa and Rio Tinto have deferred the planned timing of completing heritage surveys and some drilling areas, likely until 2021.

To keep up to date with Australian Mining, subscribe to our free email newsletters delivered straight to your inbox. Click here.