Special Report: Antipa Minerals (ASX: AZY) has added to its remarkable record for landing big-name partners to assist with its Paterson Province exploration efforts, with IGO Ltd the latest established miner to team up with the company.

This morning Antipa and IGO unveiled the farm-in agreement, whereby IGO can spend $30 million over 6.5 years to earn a 70% interest in a significant portion of Antipa’s Paterson Province tenements, which will now be known “Paterson Project”.

As part of the deal, IGO is also acquiring a 4.9% interest in Antipa by subscribing for $3.27 million in shares at a price of 2.75 cents, a 25% premium to the 10-day volume-weighted average price (VWAP) prior to receipt by Antipa of a non-binding farm-in proposal from IGO .

“This, the company’s third major farm-in agreement following similar deals with Rio Tinto in 2015 and Newcrest Mining earlier this year, provides further validation of our efforts to build a strategic landholding in the Paterson at a time when the region’s geological potential wasn’t as keenly appreciated as it is today,” Antipa executive chairman Stephen Power said.

“We now have three large and highly successful mining companies working to unlock value on our extensive Paterson Province portfolio.”

IGO managing director Peter Bradford said his company was pleased to be adding to its portfolio of projects in the Paterson and looked forward to working with Antipa.

“IGO is pleased to become a shareholder of Antipa, given its outstanding pipeline of projects at various stages of exploration across the Paterson region,” he said.

“Antipa has assembled an impressive list of exploration partners and we are excited to be one of them.”

Antipa listed in 2011 with its main asset being a 1,700km2 package of ground in the Paterson known as the Citadel Project. Additional ground was soon acquired from Paladin Energy and legendary WA prospector Mark Creasy.

Although it was unloved at the time, the rationale for focusing on the region was its potential for hosting tier-one deposits such as Telfer, which had a pre-mining endowment of 32 million ounces of gold and one million tonnes of copper.

Antipa experienced some success in the early years, discovering the Calibre deposit at Citadel, and in 2015, struck a $60 million farm-in agreement with Rio Tinto on that project.

But it wasn’t until 2018 that interest in the Paterson really exploded. This was when Rio confirmed its Winu copper discovery on ground just to the west of Citadel and AIM-listed Greatland Gold made the Havieron gold discovery.

Newcrest Mining has since entered an agreement to earn up to a 75% interest in Havieron by spending US$65 million as it seeks to secure new sources of feed for Telfer.

Extending the life of Telfer was also likely to have been a motivation behind Newcrest entering a major farm-in agreement over 2,180km2of ground owned by Antipa that surrounds the operation in February.

Under this agreement, Newcrest can earn 75% of the Wilki Project, as it has been dubbed, by spending $60 million over eight years.

Newcrest also invested $3.9 million for a 9.9% stake in Antipa. As is its right under the Wilki agreement, the gold miner will tip in another $360,000 to ensure it doesn’t have its interest diluted through the placement to IGO.

IGO must spend a minimum of $4 million on exploration on the Paterson Project ground in the first 2.5 years and then another $26 million in the next four years to earn a 70% joint venture interest.

Upon formation of a joint venture, Antipa will be free-carried to the completion of a feasibility study on any discovery made at the Paterson Project.

Excised from the deal is 144km2 of ground including the established gold-copper resources at Minyari-WACA, which will remain 100% owned by Antipa.

Following the completion of the placement, the company will have $9 million in cash to continue exploration around Minyari-WACA, consider development scenarios and potentially look at new opportunities.

This story was developed in collaboration with Antipa Minerals, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.
This story does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.