AbraSilver owns a 100% interest in a large, land package located in the Antofagasta Region of Chile. The main property is known as the Arcas project and is approximately 245 km northeast of Antofagasta city, a world class mining hub. Arcas is situated in the Atacama Desert, the cordilleran transitional zone between lower desert and high cordillera, at elevations ranging between 1,500-3,800 meters. The Arcas concession block constitutes a combined area of approximately 51,600 hectares and falls along the greater West Fissure-Domeyko mineralized trend which hosts numerous world-class porphyry copper deposits (e.g. Chuquicamata, Collahuasi, El Abra, and Quebrada Blanca). Despite being located adjacent a major mineral belt, the Arcas Project has, to date, had little modern exploration and remains in a preliminary stage of exploration.
Additionally, the Company wholly-owns 9,300 hectares of granted exploration concessions (known as the Quiltro, Lia and Timón concessions) which are located near the Arcas Project. The Lia, Quiltro and Timón blocks host satellite (ASTER) spectral anomalies. The Company believes these concessions are highly prospective as they are located proximal to key regional faults along this major productive copper trend.
In September, 2019, the Company’s Chilean subsidiary announced the execution of an Earn-In with Option to Joint Venture Agreement with Rio Tinto Mining and Exploration Limited / Agencia En Chile, a member of the Rio Tinto Group (“Rio Tinto”), to acquire an interest in the Arcas project in Chile. The Agreement allowed Rio Tinto to acquire up to a 75% stake in Arcas, by incurring up to US$25 million in exploration expenditures.
During the year ended December 31, 2021, the Company received notice from Rio Tinto terminating its earn-in option agreement. Rio Tinto made this decision after the initial drill program at Arcas failed to produce significant mineralized intercepts. AbraSilver retains 100% ownership of the Arcas concessions and is evaluating opportunities for strategic partnerships on its Chilean concessions, while the Company remains focused on advancing its Diablillos project and other earlier stage exploration assets in Argentina.