Antipa and its partner Rio Tinto have elected to reduce their budgeted 2022 exploration spend on the Citadel gold-copper-silver JV Project in WA’s Paterson Province by 20% to $8m, and Antipa is redirecting its $3.5m Citadel spend to advance its 100% owned Minyari Dome Project.

The reduction from the previously approved $10m budget, which was funded to date via partner co-contributions (Rio 65%, Antipa 35%), is due to broader industry timing pressures which have impacted targeted activity levels rather than any concerns about Citadel’s prospectivity.

Antipa Minerals (ASX:AZY) has also elected to exercise the dilute-down provision in the Citadel Project joint venture agreement, which will reduce its interest in the project to between 31.1% and 32% at the conclusion of the 2022 exploration program spend, which includes $1.5m to $2m for a second contingent drill program.

In return, the company will receive a refund of about $500,000 from Rio Tinto over the next 10 business days and will not be required to make further JV cash contributions for the revised 2022 budget.

Managing director Roger Mason said this will also allow the company to allocate more funds towards the rapid advancement of its flagship Minyari Dome project.

“The Scoping Study on Minyari Dome remains on track for completion and release during the current Quarter,” he added.

“We remain very bullish on the Tier 1 nature of the Citadel Project JV and the value of our interest in this asset.

“The decision to dilute-down slightly at Citadel is solely a function of relative capital allocation preferences within the Antipa portfolio at the current time.”

Minyari Dome now has a resource of 1.8Moz gold, 64,300t copper, 584,000oz silver and 11,100 cobalt following a 250% upgrade in May, not that the Company is content to just leave it as it is.

It has already identified targets at Minyari, WACA, Minyari South, Sundown and several other prospects nearby which provide strong potential for significant continued resource growth.

Still plenty to come from Citadel

There’s still plenty of exploration to come at Citadel as well. Rio plans to carry out a 3,500m to 4,000m reverse circulation drill program focused on the Rimfire area along with select regional targets such as Transfer and Northern Lights in August.

This might be followed by a second contingent 3,500m to 4,500m program in the Rimfire area in late October or November.

Geophysical programs such as Induced polarisation, possible Rimfire ground electromagnetic and downhole geophysical surveys are currently underway while ongoing processing and interpretation of IP and drill data is expected to identify further priority target areas.

Rio Tinto could also update the existing 2021 Calibre deposit mineralisation model and resource, conclude the Calibre metallurgical test work and ongoing preliminary assessment of a potential Calibre deposit development opportunity.



This article was developed in collaboration with Antipa Minerals, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.

This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.