Work on the Cobrasco project is currently suspended following denial for a drilling permit by the Colombian Department of Environment.
The project is located in the impoverished Choco Province where the copper belt extends from Chile, Peru and Ecuador in the south to Panama in the north. This copper belt almost entirely required Department of Environment approval for drilling and totally lacks modern exploration. Some 45% of the country required such drilling approval.
The South American “Copper Gap”
The Cobrasco Project is owned 100% by Rugby and subject to a 1% NSR to others. Title covers approximately 30 square kilometers and is located 35 kilometers north of the Provincial capital of Quibdo, 100 kilometers west of Medellin, and 95 kilometers from the Pacific coast. The project is sited at modest elevations of 300-450 meter elevation.Cobrasco is located in the western Cordillera of Colombia, and was discovered in the 1980s by a joint German-Colombian government regional exploration program. Although largely soil covered, it is marked by outcropping porphyry rocks containing malachite-bornite-chalcopyrite mineralization and elevated molybdenum. There has been no subsequent exploration.
Rugby conducted a detailed airborne magnetic survey which defined the porphyry target well showing a magnetic low (due to magnetite destruction associated with the mineralizing events), and also suggested that it may extend under cover rocks to the north west. Rugby also conducted a detailed NI 43-101 site visit and report which confirmed the historic findings.
The drill target is essentially easily discernible due to visible porphyry with copper mineralization, within the large magnetic low geophysical anomaly.
Drill Permitting Process
Numerous permits and agreements are required prior to an application for permitting drilling with the Forestry Division of the Department of Environment. Rugby successfully completed and agreement (Consulta Previa) with the local Afro Colombian (Cocomacia) owners of the region in 2013. These meeting were also attended by National Government officials. Subsequent to this, Rugby established an office in Quibdo and always maintained good relationships with the local communities. Productive meetings were held with the Quibdo Mayor and the Choco Governor and were also attended by the local environmental agency Codechoco and Cocomacia. The Governor was fully in favor of exploration and mining projects in Choco.
In 2017, the environmental agency Codechoco issued a permit to collect flora, fauna and biological samples from site. A team of 23 environmental consultants and support crew then conducted a comprehensive survey on the project to collect baseline environmental data. No significant issues were identified however several proposed holes had to be re-positioned due to topographic constraint.
The Department of Forestry visited the proposed drill sites in 2018 and the Department and Rugby agreed that certain drill sites would be eliminated and others moved. Rugby reduced the area of the requested permit is less than a total of 3 hectares, which included drill sites, camp, helicopter sites and tracks.
The Department of Forestry requested that Rugby conduct a geophysical survey to ratify the conceptual hydrological model for the non-existence of aquifers in the drilling area. This survey was completed and no aquifers were located within the 1.73 square kilometer survey area. Rugby and the Environmental consulting team also addressed all the 13 requests for further hydrological data, fauna/flora classification raised by the Department in June 2018.
The Department denied the drilling permit in April 2019, stating broad environmental concerns.
Rugby has submitted an appeal.
Certain information contained herein can be considered forward Looking. Please click here to review the Company's cautionary statement for investors. Paul Joyce, the Company’s President and CEO and a “qualified person” within the definition of that term in NI 43-101, has supervised the preparation of the technical information contained on this webpage.