23 May 2022
Antipa Minerals to hand operations baton for Wilki farm-in project to Newcrest Mining
Antipa Minerals Ltd (ASX:AZY) is set to hand over its operational duties for the Wilki Project in Western Australia's Paterson Province to farm-in partner and ASX 200-lister Newcrest Mining Limited (ASX:NCM).
A Newcrest subsidiary - Newcrest Operations Pty Ltd - will assume management for the farm-in agreement next month.
Newcrest's decision to take on more responsibility comes after it invested an initial A$6 million in exploration expenditure by November 2021 and Antipa finalised the project's current program of works.
The mining monolith, which has its Telfer operations and other interests in the same region, will officially take on the project's operations on July 1, 2022.
Dedicating focus to Minyari Antipa managing director Roger Mason said Newcrest's decision to assume operatorship of the Wilki farm-in project from July came at the perfect time.
"With our other major partners, Rio Tinto and IGO, already operating our Citadel joint venture and Paterson farm-in projects, respectively, this allows Antipa to dedicate its focus to the rapid advancement of our 100%-owned Minyari Dome Project," Mason explained.
"The recent substantial resource upgrade at Minyari, to 1.8 million gold ounces, readily demonstrates why we are now targeting a standalone mining and processing operation at Minyari via the usual evaluation studies.
"Running in parallel, our major partners will be funding significant greenfield discovery exploration programs on 5,000 square kilometres of world-class Paterson Province ground.
"Antipa enjoys the best of both worlds in this respect, with exciting times ahead."
Antipa's farm-in agreement requires Newcrest to expend the following in order to secure a 75% joint venture interest:
- Initial commitment: A$6 million in exploration expenditure within two years beginning the farm-in agreement, which has now been satisfied. No joint venture interest was earned in this stage;
- Stage 1: A$10 million in exploration expenditure by March 2025 to earn a 51% joint venture interest. Newcrest can extend this period by up to two years, and the company is now proceeding with this stage. Newcrest has the right to withdraw from the farm-in during Stage 1; and
- Stage 2: A$44 million in exploration expenditure by March 2028 to earn a 75% joint venture interest. Newcrest can extend this period by up to two years (in aggregate with any earlier extension).
Once Newcrest earns a 51% interest in the project, Antipa and Newcrest will become parties to a joint venture agreement.
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