Vote of confidence for Antipa’s Wilki Project with Newcrest committing further $10M
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Australia’s largest gold producer, Newcrest Mining, has agreed to spend a further $10M on exploration at Antipa’s Wilki Project in WA’s hot Paterson Province.
This means Newcrest now has the right to inject a further $10M by March 2025 to earn a 51% stake in the project.
The mining heavyweight has already spent $6M on the project and it did that well before the initial two-year deadline.
Newcrest signed an agreement to farm in to the Wilki Project in February last year and can earn up to 75% of the project by spending $60M on exploration over a total of eight years.
Antipa will remain operator of the project until the current exploration program is complete, which is anticipated to be in Q1 2022. Newcrest then has the choice of taking over as operator for the remainder of stage one or requesting that Antipa continue as operator.
Upon Newcrest earning a 51% stake by spending a total of $16M, the partners will form a joint venture.
The Wilki Project sits within 3km of Newcrest’s 32-million-ounce Telfer operation, surrounding the mine on three sides, and is attractive to Newcrest because of its potential as a source of fresh ore for the ageing mine and massive gold-copper processing facility, which is due to run out of Telfer ore feed in 2024.
Wilki is also a stone’s throw from another tier one operation – London-listed Greatland Gold’s (30%) Havieron Project hosting 3.4 million ounces of gold and 160,000 tonnes of copper. Newcrest (70%) is also a partner in Havieron.
Importantly, this additional financial commitment by Newcrest frees Antipa up to focus all its resources on advancing its wholly owned and highly prospective Minyari Dome Project, also in WA’s Paterson Province.
With over 45,000m 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.
“Our spend rate at Minyari will come down next year because we would’ve completed the expensive drilling component and will now be focusing on the interpretation of those results,” Non-executive Chairman Stephen Power told Stockhead recently.
“We’ll work in house with our internal geologists and external consultants to see exactly what comes out of that in relation to a production opportunity. We should have significant funds to carry us through.”
Minyari Dome has shown potential to be both an open pit and underground mining operation.
The Minyari and WACA deposits currently host 723,000 ounces of gold at 2 grams per tonne (g/t) and 26,000 tonnes of copper at 0.24% in the soon to be superseded 2017 resource with material upside potential.
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.