Antipa Minerals has been buoyed by a batch of excellent drilling results from its 100%-owned Minyari Dome Project in WA’s Paterson Province that suggest strong similarities with the celebrated Havieron gold-copper discovery nearby. 

Results from a six-hole diamond drilling program conducted at Minyari Dome in November and December were released by Antipa (ASX: AZY) on Wednesday, with the company saying they confirmed the potential to significantly expand the Project’s existing gold-copper resources and for a stand-alone development opportunity.

Among the better results were 5.35m at 12.35 g/t gold and 0.06% copper from 311.65m, 23m at 4.53 g/t gold, 0.41% copper and 1.04 g/t silver from 549.00m, and 19.65m at 2.59 g/t gold, 0.44% copper and 1.47 g/t silver from 292.35m.

The Minyari Dome Project covers 144km2 in the Paterson within 35km of Newcrest Mining’s Telfer gold-copper-silver mine and processing facility, and 54km along strike from Havieron, which was discovered by Greatland Gold in 2018.

Newcrest has since farmed in to Havieron, negotiating the right to earn an interest of up to 70% by spending US$65 million and agreeing to provide a US$50 million loan facility to Greatland.

Antipa managing director Roger Mason said the company was “particularly excited” by the similarities to Havieron unfolding at the Minyari deposit.

“The Minyari mineralisation is hosted along the same trend, by the same rocks, with intense intrusion related hydrothermal alteration and very high-grade gold-copper sulphide breccia style mineralisation occurring over a similar footprint to Havieron,” he said.

“Critically, only five drill holes at Minyari have penetrated deeper than 430m below surface, the depth to the top of the Havieron deposit, with four of these five holes intersecting significant high-grade gold-copper-silver breccia mineralisation – suggesting that both the volume and grade of mineralisation may be increasing with depth.”

Caption: Map showing Minyari Dome’s proximity to Newcrest’s giant Telfer operation

Although deep, Havieron appears certain to become a mine, with the maiden resource of 3.4 million ounces of gold and 160,000 tonnes of copper announced in December and early works in the form of a box-cut and exploration decline already underway.

Minyari Dome contains a high-grade resource of 726,000 ounces of gold and 26,000 tonnes of copper split across the twin Minyari and WACA deposits, but the mineralisation remains open in all directions and there are several untested geophysical anomalies associated with the Minyari deposit, and also within the Project tenements that present the potential for near-term resource growth and further greenfield discoveries.

Starting this month, Antipa intends to undertake 6,000m of diamond drilling and 15,000m of reverse circulation drilling at Minyari Dome in 2021, which will mark the largest ever exploration program on the Project.

The hungry 20Mtpa Telfer mill stands as an obvious processing option for both Havieron and Minyari Dome but Antipa wants to demonstrate that Minyari Dome can support a stand-alone operation with its own mill.

The company believes achieving this through growing resources and completing mining studies will help in maximising shareholder leverage.

More than just Minyari

Minyari Dome represents but a small portion of Antipa’s exposure to the Paterson, with the company also having three large joint ventures with major mining companies Newcrest, Rio Tinto and IGO in the region.

These are all situations where the larger company has approached Antipa on the basis of the prospectivity of its ground.

Together, the three majors could spend up to $150 million exploring Antipa’s ground, with more than $20 million likely to be spent this year.

There is also the opportunity for the Calibre gold-copper deposit, part of the Citadel joint venture with Rio, to be rolled into the near-term development of the Winu project 45km away.

Antipa first moved into the Paterson in 2011 when it was a less than fashionable address for mineral exploration and built a dominant 5,200km2 landholding on the well-considered premise that it held the potential to host more world-class discoveries like Telfer.




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.