A mineral exploration company, Antipa Minerals Limited (ASX: AZY) announced that Rio Tinto Exploration Pty Limited (Rio Tinto), a 100% owned subsidiary of Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO), has confirmed its commitment to the Citadel Project Farm-in and Joint Venture (Citadel JV) in Western Australia’s Paterson Province, with an indicative budget of $3.4 million allocated to the 2019 calendar year Exploration Programme. The Exploration Programme is subject to the completion of final planning and the receipt of formal approvals by Rio Tinto.
Citadel Project is situated around 75 km North of Newcrest’s Telfer Gold-Copper-Silver mine, which consists of gold-copper-silver-tungsten mineral resources at the Calibre, and Magnum deposits and high-grade polymetallic Corker deposit.
The Project comprises of 7 exploration licenses sprawling across the region of more than 1,000 square Kilometres. It contains prospective under-explored Proterozoic deposits, in the Northern direction of Paterson Minerals Province.
The terms and conditions of the JV agreement with Rio Tinto were published in October 2015. It mentioned that Rio Tinto could sponsor up to $60 million on exploration expenses with the capacity to earn up to 75% interest in Antipa’s Citadel Project.
The Exploration Programme’s outline is as follows (though it is subject to changes which might occur due to the results, conditions of the field and with the continued review):
- The drill testing of New aerial electromagnetic (AEM) conductivity anomalies, the Calibre resource extensional targets, the Geochemical targets (including Colt) and several aeromagnetic targets (for example Ballstein and Hansel).
- Additional IP surveys, testing of resultant and existing IP chargeability targets.
Further, AZY mentioned that it would begin and resume operatorship of the Citadel JV, which consist of the execution of the 2019 Exploration Programme.
The company has a broad knowledge of the Paterson province. It has been efficiently carrying out the operational work in the area, which has been proven by its history of exploration activities. It has been agreed that AZY is in a good position to recommence operatorship and advance the exploration work of the Citadel Project region.
In the past, AZY had been successful at Citadel, when it discovered the Calibre and Corker deposits. It has also defined the Project’s joint resources comprising of 1.64 million ounces of gold and 127,000 tonnes of copper. Once the Exploration Programme is finalised, its complete details would be released to the market.
At present, AZY is ‘resourcing up’ which consists of the engagement of additional technical and support personnel for the 2019 Citadel Exploration Programme. The resourcing up work is carried out to ensure that the programme is optimally and efficiently executed. It would also ensure that the resumption of operatorship at Citadel does not, in any way, impact the exploration activities to be undertaken on Antipa’s wholly owned projects in 2019.
The company mentioned that, in acknowledgement of the growing responsibility and workload of Mr Stephen Power, the Executive Chairman of the AZY, the Board has decided to raise the salary of Mr Power to $250,000 per year plus statutory superannuation entitlements. The change in salary will become effective 1 April 2019. All other terms and conditions of Mr Power’s Executive Services Agreement remain unchanged.
The stock of the company is currently trading at A$0.024 (as on 27 March 2019, 3:15 pm AEST), down by 4%.