A second mining heavyweight has agreed to spend up to a further $26M on Antipa’s Paterson Project just a month after Australia’s largest gold producer, Newcrest Mining, agreed to spend up to a further $10M on exploration at the company’s Wilki Project.  

The $8.4bn IGO has committed to the next stage of the farm-in agreement over Antipa Minerals’ (ASX:AZY) Paterson Project in the Paterson Province of Western Australia.

The news was well received by investors, with shares rallying 6.5% today to 4.9c early in the trading session.

Antipa Minerals (ASX:AZY) share price chart




IGO earned the right to take over management of the joint venture after having spent an initial $4M on exploration within the first 2.5 years. It only took IGO 1.5 years to satisfy that condition.

The major is obviously confident there is something significant to be found because it has now decided to advance to the next stage, which requires IGO to spend a further $26M by January 2027 to earn a 70% joint venture interest in the Paterson Project.

IGO will assume management of the farm-in in March 2022.

Upon IGO completing the next stage, the pair will form a joint venture which will see Antipa free carried through to completion of a feasibility study.

IGO and Antipa are on the hunt for Havieron, Nifty, Winu and Telfer lookalike targets.

The farm-in deal was struck in mid-2020, and this year the partners have completed a regional/project scale stratigraphic 168-hole, 11,346m geochemical air core drilling programme spanning about 350sq.km.

Also this year they completed a 2,589-sample soil geochemical programme covering an area of roughly 650sq.km. Results are pending from these 2021 exploration programmes.

In the first quarter of next year, the JV partners plan to analyse the 2021 results along with other data sets to pinpoint and rank new greenfield exploration targets for drill testing in 2022.

Antipa recently received $150,000 in Exploration Incentive Scheme funding from the Western Australian government to diamond core test two Havieron lookalike targets located 15km along trend from Rio Tinto’s (ASX:RIO) Winu 1.8Mt copper, 4.4Moz and 35Moz silver deposit.

Majors doing the heavy lifting

In late November, Newcrest committed to injecting up to a further $10M by March 2025 to earn a 51% stake in Antipa’s Wilki Project.

The $37bn Rio Tinto, meanwhile, is managing exploration at Antipa’s Citadel Project, where hits of 10.6m at 2.12 grams per tonne (g/t) gold and 0.12% copper from 153m, including 1.0m at 20.1 g/t gold and 0.83% copper from 152m were reported last week.

Indicating just how prospective Rio believes Citadel is, earlier this year the major agreed to increase the 2021 exploration budget from $13.8M to $24.5M.

With three big name miners continuing to do the heavy lifting on three of Antipa’s projects in the Paterson, the company is free to focus its resources on advancing its wholly owned and highly prospective Minyari Dome Project, also in the Paterson Province.

The Minyari Dome Project sits within 35km of Newcrest’s Telfer mine and processing facility and 54km along strike from the Greatland Gold and Newcrest-owned Havieron gold-copper deposit.

With over 52,000m of drilling having been completed on the project this year and still around $20M in the bank, Antipa isn’t expecting to spend as much on exploration in 2022.


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.