Antipa Minerals strikes Citadel JV with Rio Tinto

THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Antipa Minerals (ASX: AZY) has struck a Joint Venture agreement with Rio Tinto (ASX: RIO) subsidiary company Rio Tinto Exploration Pty Limited, which will result in the latter acquiring an interest in Antipa’s Citadel project located in the Proterozoic Paterson Province of Western Australia.

Under the agreement, Rio can acquire up to a 75 per cent JV interest in the Citadel project.

The first stage of the deal will involve Rio earning 51 per cent by spending $3 million in exploration expenditure on the Citadel project tenements within 18 months.

Rio will undertake a follow-up RC drilling program at Calibre during this calendar year consisting up to 30 RC drillholes and 5,000m to be divided into three stages:

Stage 1: East-west extensional RC drilling, approximately 1,000m, across a 400m strike zone of broad high-grade gold-copper mineralisation known as North Calibre, which was defined by Antipa’s 2015 Phase 1 RC program;

Stage 2: Extensional RC drilling, approximately 2,200m, of a high-priority magnetic target which extends for 1.2 kilometres to the north of the Calibre North mineralisation; and

Stage 3: Reconnaissance RC drilling, up to 1,800m contingent on the results from Stages 1 and 2, continuing north along the magnetic trend for up to a further 2.3km from the high priority magnetic target being tested by the Stage 2 RC drilling.

Antipa said the main objectives of the three stages of RC drilling are to extend the limits of the North Calibre high-grade gold-copper mineralisation to a total strike length of between 1.6 to 3.9km and potentially identify regions of increased gold grade.

“Antipa is delighted to join with Rio Tinto, in the future exploration of the Citadel project in the world class Paterson Province of Western Australia,” Antipa Minerals managing director Roger Mason said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.

“The company believes it is a strong endorsement of our exploration achievements to date and the quality of the asset itself.

“We are particularly excited with the technical input which will be available from one of the world’s largest and most successful mining and exploration companies.

“We believe that Rio Tinto’s involvement will add significantly to the prospects of developing a successful mining operation within the Citadel project area.”