Newcrest Mining has signed A$60 million in exploration farm-in and joint-venture agreements with Antipa Minerals covering a 2,180-km2 southern portion of Antipa’s 100% owned ground in the Paterson province of Western Australia. The project has been named the Wilki project.

Key terms include an initial A$6 million minimum exploration expenditure within two years to be managed by Antipa; a further A$10 million exploration expenditure within five years of commencement for Newcrest to earn a 51% joint-venture interest; and a further A$44 million exploration expenditure within eight years of commencement to earn a 75% joint-venture interest.

Newcrest will also acquire a 9.9% interest in Antipa by subscribing for A$3.9 million in shares at A1.7 cents/share.

Initial exploration activity on the Wilki project will include a field reconnaissance program, with mapping and geochemical sampling; aerial electromagnetics over areas not previously covered by aerial electromagnetics; an induced polarization survey to target prospects beneath cover; and reverse circulation and diamond core drill programs testing defined targets under cover.

Antipa Executive Chairman Stephen Power commented, “We are delighted to welcome Newcrest as a shareholder of Antipa and to be partnering with them to progress the exploration of our Wilki project in the world-class Paterson province of Western Australia.

“This transaction demonstrates Newcrest’s commitment to the region and its strong belief in the prospectivity of the Wilki project, which is strategically located surrounding Newcrest’s long-running Telfer gold-copper operation and ore-processing facility.

“The agreement with Newcrest is designed to ensure that a robust exploration program will be undertaken across the Wilki project over the coming years, including the drill testing of a number of highly prospective targets. Furthermore, the share placement positions Antipa in a strong financial position, enabling the company to progress exploration activities on its remaining 100% owned tenure.”

Newcrest’s Telfer operations are located 400 km east of Port Hedland. Production totaled 452,000 oz of gold and 15,000 mt of copper during the company’s fiscal year to June 30, 2019.