29/01/2020 - 12:44

Rio commits $14m to Citadel JV

29/01/2020 - 12:44

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Rio Tinto has confirmed it will proceed with the next phase of its exploration joint venture at the Citadel copper-gold project, located in the Pilbara's Paterson province, but has extended the time it has to spend $14 million from three years to five years.

Rio commits $14m to Citadel JV
The Citadel project is located 5km east of Rio Tinto’s Winu copper-gold-silver deposit. Photo: Antipa Minerals

Rio Tinto has confirmed it will proceed with the next phase of its exploration joint venture at the Citadel copper-gold project, located in the Pilbara's Paterson province, but has extended the time it has to spend $14 million from three years to five years.

The announcement comes just weeks after Rio formalised its joint venture with Antipa Minerals, after spending $11 million on the project.

Rio currently holds a 51 per cent interest in Citadel and operates the copper-gold project, located 5 kilometres east of its Winu discovery.

The project hosts a global mineral resource of 63.8 million tonnes at 0.8 grams per tonne of gold and 0.2 per cent of copper for 1.6 million ounces of gold and 127,000t of copper.

Rio Tinto has notified Antipa Minerals it would proceed with the next stage of the earn-in agreement to acquire up to 65 per cent of the project, with $14 million to be spent on exploration over five years instead of the initial three-year period (announced in 2015).

Antipa Minerals said Rio was likely to spend $2 million on exploration in 2020.

The proposed activities, expected to commence in April, will include induced polarisation surveys along favourable structural corridors and drilling of targets generated from an exploration program last year.

Antipa chairman Stephen Power the company was pleased with Rio’s decision to solely fund exploration on the Citadel tenements.

“The Calibre and Magnum resources within Citadel have significant potential for further growth which, together with the regional exploration targets, establishes excellent growth prospects for the company,” Mr Power said.

Subject to Rio earning the 65 per cent interest in the joint venture, Rio has the option to increase its interest to 75 per cent by sole funding a further $35 million in exploration activities within a further three years.

Shares in Rio were up 0.62 per cent at 3:10pm to trade at $100.61, while Antipa Minerals shares were up 7.14 per cent at 2:20pm to trade at 1.5 cents per share.

Antipa first entered the Paterson province in 2011 and wholly owns the North Telfer and Paterson Project tenements, which host a collective 827,000oz of gold.

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