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Newcrest Mining will fund exploration at prospects including Havieron. Image: Antipa Minerals.

Newcrest Mining is set to spend at least $6 million on exploration at the Wilki copper-gold project in Western Australia as part of a partnership with Antipa Minerals.

The two companies intend to explore 2180 square kilometres of tenements, completing sampling, surveying and drilling work across priority targets in the region by the end of the year.

Under the farm-in agreement formed in February, Newcrest is required to spend a minimum of $6 million on exploration within two years.

Mapping, geochemical sampling and track re-establishment earthworks are under way and set to be completed by August as part of the first phase of greenfield exploration at Wilki.

An 800 square kilometre aeromagnetic survey and ground-based gravity surveys to identify high-grade copper-gold targets are scheduled for completion in August.

The next phase will begin in September when the two companies undertake a heritage survey and start reverse circulation (RC) and diamond core drilling programs at targets including the Havieron anomaly.

Previous testing has identified nine priority Havieron lookalike targets within four kilometres of both Havieron and Rio Tinto’s Winu project, 30 kilometres north east of Newcrest’s Telfer mine.

The Wilki exploration program is subject to continuous monitoring to keep employees, contractors and local Indigenous groups safe during the coronavirus pandemic and in compliance with government restrictions.

Antipa is also in partnership with Rio Tinto and IGO for further exploration activities at the Citadel and Paterson farm-in projects in the Paterson Province, respectively.