Sipa Resources Ltd (ASX:SRI)'s farm in and joint venture (JV) agreement with Rio Tinto Exploration Pty Limited at the Paterson North Copper-Gold Project is ticking along, with a program of works recently confirmed and the company primed to kick off drilling.
Sipa is the current manager of the project and as part of the agreement, Rio Tinto committed to funding 4,000 metres of drilling.
Target refinements made
The budget for this work was previously approved for the 2022 calendar year and current field season. Planning for this drilling has been progressing well, with refinements made to the existing drill targets.
Sipa managing director Pip Darvall said: “As well as progressing our 100%-owned projects, Sipa has been preparing for an exciting drilling season at Paterson North.
“I know many shareholders have been keenly awaiting the return of a drill rig to this exciting project and I am pleased that our preparations have been moving ahead well.”
Movement at the station
The project’s program of works was recently approved and the field camp is being re-established in preparation for the mobilisation of equipment and personnel to site.
Drilling contractors have been booked and aircore and reverse circulation (RC) drilling is anticipated to start around the middle of the year.
“With the program of works approval secured, we are targeting commencing drilling in June or July. We look forward to further progressing the Paterson North Project alongside our partners RTX,” Darvall said.
The Paterson drilling will be followed by the acquisition of additional geophysical data including airborne electromagnetics and gradient array IP.
Terms of the agreement
Under the terms of the agreement, Rio Tinto can earn a 70% interest in the project by sole funding expenditure of $12 million – which includes $6 million to earn 55% and a further $6 million to earn to 70% – and increase its interest to 80% by sole funding to the earlier of a JORC resource of $1 billion of in-ground value or the completion of an Order of Magnitude Study.
About Sipa Resources
Sipa Resources Limited is an Australian-based exploration company focused on the discovery of gold and base metal deposits primarily in Western Australia.
The Paterson North Copper-Gold Project is being progressed in partnership with Rio Tinto Exploration, and the Barbwire Terrace Base Metals Project involves an innovative joint venture with petroleum explorer and operator Buru Energy Ltd (ASX:BRU).
At Wolfe Basin, extensive base metal anomalism and gossans have provided several targets for drill testing along a prospective horizon over 40-kilometres long.
The Warralong Project is prospective for intrusion hosted gold, lithium-tin-tantalum and nickel-copper in the north Pilbara region in a ‘look-alike’ structural setting to recent discoveries in the district, while the Murchison Project covers major structures and prospective geology in prolific greenstone belts within WA’s northern Goldfields.