Cobalt Blue Holdings Ltd. said Jan. 16 that it paused drilling at the Thackaringa cobalt project in New South Wales, Australia, as it was unable to secure an extension to a land access agreement.
The company planned to drill at least 15,000 meters at Thackaringa by the first half and has completed 9,561 meters so far.
Cobalt Blue had asked joint venture partner Broken Hill Prospecting Ltd., as the legal title holder, to execute an extension on behalf of Thackaringa, but it was not willing to cooperate.
Given extreme drought conditions locally, the company will halt field activities on farming properties until conditions improve.
Upon resumption, Cobalt Blue's focus will be on finalizing extensional work to the resource. Further assays are expected in January and February, and an updated resource is due at the end of the first quarter.
The company added that while exploration activities have been paused, further work programs continue, including bulk testing, mining, and environmental and engineering studies.
Broken Hill issued a dispute notice to Cobalt Blue over Thackaringa in November 2018, saying the start of drilling was outside the mandatory approval process set out in the joint venture agreement.