Antipa Minerals Ltd (ASX:AZY) has begun an additional 600 square kilometres of airborne electromagnetic (EM) surveying at its Citadel Project in Western Australia.
The survey is part of the $60-million farm-in by Rio Tinto Exploration Pty Ltd and aims to identify a new generation of EM conductivity targets for evaluation during 2019.
Rio Tinto Exploration Pty Ltd is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Rio Tinto Ltd (ASX:RIO).
A geophysical survey conducted by Antipa in 2011 using similar VTEM technology identified the Magnum gold-copper-silver deposit and lead to the discovery of the Corker polymetallic deposit.
The EM survey was not included in the original Rio Tinto exploration program and budget for this field season and represents a decision by Rio to undertake additional regional geophysical work.
Rio Tinto operates the Citadel Project under the terms of the farm-in agreement and proposed the survey to define conductors with potential to represent semi-massive to massive sulphides associated with gold-copper mineralisation.
The survey area covers all remaining regions of Citadel not previously covered by airborne EM geophysical systems.
A MultiMoment SkyTEM-306HP time-domain, helicopter-borne EM system from SKYTEM Australia Pty Ltd will be used to conduct the survey.
Cover within the survey area typically ranges from between 20 to 80 metres.
Rio Tinto’s farm-in allows it to earn up 75% interest in Citadel provided it satisfies a number of exploration commitments.
The current stage requires $8 million of exploration expenditure from Rio within a 3-year period to earn a 51% joint venture interest.
The mining major may then elect to spend a further $14 million in exploration to earn 65%, and another $35 million to earn 75%.
Antipa will reserve the right to contribute in the next stage to maintain its 35% joint venture interest.