Antipa Minerals Limited (ASX: AZY) announced that the Citadel JV 2021 Exploration Programme has been significantly expanded with an increased budget of $24.5 million, previously $13.8 million.
The company reported that its JV partner Rio Tinto has now sole funded in excess of $25 million in exploration expenditure on the Citadel Joint Venture Project located in Paterson Province in northern Western Australia, meeting the expenditure requirement to increase its joint venture interest from 51% to 65%.
AZY said that an additional 6,000-7,000 metres of drilling have been planned targeting mineralisation and resource extensions at the Calibre and Magnum gold-copper deposits. The company said that the Expanded Exploration Programme has commenced and is currently underway.
78% increase in budget for Citadel JV
Antipa announced that an expanded Citadel Joint Venture Project CY2021 Exploration Programme was agreed with Rio Tinto Exploration Pty Limited.
AZY said that an increased budget of approximately $24.5 million (previously $13.8 million) has been approved by the joint venture partners for the Citadel JV 2021 Exploration Programme.
Expanded exploration programme
The JV partners said that the new expanded Citadel JV 2021 Exploration Programme, to be operated by Rio Tinto, would comprise a 19,000‐metre reverse circulation (RC) and diamond core (DD) drill programme focused on the Magnum Dome area, which hosts the Calibre and Magnum gold‐copper‐silver Mineral Resources and Corker deposit, and the Rimfire area together with select regional targets including the Boxer GAIP target.
The partners reported that other activities include undertaking preliminary metallurgical test‐work at Calibre; appraisal work in respect of early stage project development options at the Calibre deposit; continuation of the GAIP survey programme across prospective structural corridors of the Citadel tenements, prioritising areas that have had limited or no testing of the basement by drilling; ongoing processing and interpretation of GAIP and drill hole data, including final 2020 programme data, together with Calibre deposit and Magnum Dome modelling to identify further priority target areas and support a potential Mineral Resource update; and Calibre camp infrastructure installation and expansion.
Citadel JV 2021 Exploration Programme underway
The JV partners said that the Citadel JV 2021 Exploration Programme is currently underway with two RC drill rigs testing multiple gold‐copper targets at the Rimfire area, before moving to the Boxer target.
The partners said that the first DD rig recently commenced drilling at Calibre, with a second DD rig due later this month. The partners announced that the GAIP geophysical survey is also scheduled to commence during April.
Rio Tinto stake increased to 65% on meeting funding targets
Antipa announced that as a result of sole funding in excess of $25 million in exploration expenditure on the Citadel Joint Venture Project to date, Rio Tinto’s joint venture interest has now increased from 51% to 65%.
If Antipa elects not to co‐contribute to further Citadel Joint Venture Project expenditure on a 35% basis, Rio Tinto has 30 Business Days from the Earn‐in Date (being on or before 14 May 2021) to elect to earn a 75% interest in the Citadel Joint Venture Project by sole funding a further $35 million of exploration expenditure within a further 3 years.
Antipa’s Managing Director, Roger Mason, said: “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. The 2021 programme 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”.
Image Source: Antipa Minerals Limited