Gold was discovered in the Taraira area only as recently as the mid-1980s. Between 1988 and 1990, up to 10,000 artisanal miners were working colluvial, alluvial and lode deposits along the sandstone ridges of the Taraira Gold Belt. A study of the area was completed by Mineralco S.A., the former Mining Department of Colombia, in the mid-1990s.
Mineralco focused their work on the area of Machado ridge, which today makes up Cosigo's Machado project. Mineralco reported in excess of 130 active gold mining operations spread through this area. Mineralco's work was the first systematic study of the area and was intended to assess the geological setting and the mineral potential of the area. Their work included geological mapping, sampling and a 12-hole diamond drilling program aimed at studying the stratigraphy of Machado ridge. Free gold was reported in 6 of Mineralco's drill holes.
Following the Mineralco study, a 9,973 hectare area was reserved by the Colombian government and, in 2007, the area was put out for bid by the government. Bids for the area were submitted by several gold explorers, including major gold companies. Cosigo's bid was successful leading to the company's acquisition of the Machado project.