Rio Tinto to invest up to $60m on exploration in Antipa’s gold and copper project in WA

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Antipa Minerals has announced that it has inked a $60 million earn-in agreement with mining giant Rio Tinto over its Citadel gold and copper project in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.

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“Antipa is delighted to join Rio Tinto, in the future exploration of the Citadel Project in the world class Paterson Province of Western Australia. The Company believes it is a strong endorsement of our exploration achievements to date and the quality of the asset itself,” said Roger Mason, Managing Director of Antipa.

“We are particularly excited with the technical input which will be available from one of the world’s largest and most successful mining and exploration companies. We believe that Rio Tinto’s involvement will add significantly to the prospects of developing a successful mining operation within the Citadel Project area.”

According to the ASX Announcement, Rio Tinto can earn as much as 75 per cent interest in the project near Newcrest’s Telfer mine by spending up to $60 million in exploration in stages over 10 years.

Initially, Rio Tinto plans to invest $3 million to complete follow-up phase II RC drilling programme at Calibre during the calendar year.

Once Rio invests $11 million in the first three and a half years, it will acquire a 51% stake, at which point a joint venture will be formed. Depending on the drilling results, Rio will have the option to proceed further or totally withdraw from the joint venture.

Antipa will retain 100 per cent ownership of its separate North Telfer and Patersons projects to the south of Citadel.