Antipa (ASX:AZY) share price jumps 7%. Here's why

The Antipa Minerals Limited (ASX: AZY) share price is on watch after a significant expansion of Citadel JV Program's exploration program.

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Antipa Minerals Ltd (ASX: AZY) shares are on the move this morning following news of a significant expansion of the company's exploration program. At the time of writing, the Antipa share price has jumped 7.29% to 5.15 cents.

The mining company, along with its joint venture (JV) partner Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO), has more than doubled the exploration budget of the Citadel JV project.

Additionally, Rio Tinto has met funding targets, allowing it to increase its holding in the project.

Let's take a closer look at this morning's news from Antipa.

What's driving the Antipa share price?

The Antipa share price is surging higher after the company announced this morning its Citadel JV project's exploration program has been significantly expanded. The program's budget has grown from $13.8 million to $25.5 million.

The additional funds will be used to drill another 6,000 to 7,000 metres, targeting gold, copper and silver deposits.

Drilling with a diamond drill rig is currently underway at Citadel, with a second diamond drill rig arriving this month.

A gradient array induced polarisation (GAIP) geophysical survey is expected to commence this month.

Changing interests in Citadel JV project

Rio Tinto has now contributed over $25 million to the project, meeting the expenditure requirement to increase its holdings in Citadel. Rio Tinto now holds a 65% interest in the project.

Antipas' interests in Citadel have, in turn, decreased to 35%.

Antipa now has 30 business days to decide whether to continue its contributions to the JV.

If Antipa elects not to contribute, Rio Tinto may choose to solely fund the project, contributing another $35 million over the next three years. In exchange for doing so, its stake in the project would increase to 75%.

If Rio Tinto chooses not to solely fund the project, Antipa and Rio will continue to contribute to the JV in proportion to their current interests.

Commentary from management

Antipa managing director Roger Mason commented on the expanded exploration program, saying:

The recent increase in the Citadel JV's 2021 budget is a testament to the joint venture's strong belief in the potential of this project. The 2021 programme will be the largest yet and we look forward to continuing to advance the high potential Calibre and Magnum resources as well as test numerous greenfield targets.

Antipa share price snapshot

The Antipa Minerals share price has been rocketing recently. Over the course of last week, it rose 60% following news of high-grade mineral discoveries at its 100% owned Minayari and WACA mines.

Currently, the Antipa Minerals share price is up nearly 29% year to date. It's also up more than 157% over the last 12 months.

The company has a market capitalisation of around $120 million, with 2.5 billion shares outstanding.

Motley Fool contributor Brooke Cooper has no position in any of the stocks mentioned.

The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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