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Mining company plans to hire staff at WA metal project

Antipa Minerals Rio Tinto Citadel Project
Antipa Minerals Rio Tinto Citadel Project

New expertise will soon be needed at a precious metal project in Western Australia’s Great Sandy Desert region.

Perth-headquartered Antipa Minerals recently confirmed plans to hire additional and technical personnel at its Citadel Gold Copper Project, 400km east of Port Hedland. The project is being executed in a joint venture with Rio Tinto.

Antipa said the new recruits will help make sure exploration work currently underway at the project is “optimally and efficiently executed”.

“The company is currently ‘resourcing up’ (including the engagement of additional technical and support personnel) for the 2019 Citadel Exploration Programme to ensure it is optimally and efficiently executed and to also ensure that the resumption of operatorship at Citadel does not in any way impact on the exploration activities to be undertake on Antipa’s 100 per cent owned projects this year,” the company said in a statement to the Australian stock exchange.

Antipa’s public relations agency, Media & Capital Partners, confirmed the company is only seeking about two new employees or contractors to assist with the increased exploration responsibility.

The agency also revealed there is no capital expenditure estimate for the project since it is still in the early-stage exploration phase and no studies were conducted at the time of publication.

The recruitment drive is part of Rio’s recent move to commit $3.4 million to the 2019 exploration programme through the Citadel Project farm-in and joint venture with Rio.

The programme, which is still being finalised, is expected to include drill testing of:

  • new aerial electromagnetic conductivity anomalies
  • calibre resource extensional targets
  • geochemical targets (including Colt)
  • several aeromagnetic targets (e.g. Ballstein and Hansel).

In addition to this, there will also be induced polarization (IP) surveys and further testing of resultant and existing IP chargeability targets.

“The exploration programme is subject to the completion of final planning and the receipt of formal approvals by Rio Tinto,” Antipa said.

As part of the deal, Rio can fund up to $60 million of exploration expenditure. Rio is required to spend the amount on exploration to earn a 75 per cent interest. This is not in any way a proxy for the value of the project, according to Media & Capital Partners.

From April 1 Antipa executive chairman Stephen Power would receive a pay rise to $250,000 a year plus superannuation to recognise his “increasing responsibility and workload”.

Antipa previously discovered the Calibre and Corker deposits and defined the project’s combined resources of 1.64 million ounces of gold and 127,000 tonnes of copper.

Citadel is located about 5km east of Rio’s Winu copper-gold-silver discovery and 80km north of Newcrest Mining’s Telfer Gold Copper Silver Mine.

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