“Large multi-commodity copper resource being developed”
In February 2013, the Company upgraded its resource estimate at the project, reporting a revised JORC compliant resource of 165.2Mt grading 0.6% copper, 0.1g/t gold and 132ppm molybdenum (0.8% copper equivalent) for contained metal of 920,000 tonnes of copper, 590,000 ounces of gold and 22,000 tonnes of molybdenum.
Importantly, high grade, shallow resources have grown substantially and now stand at 53Mt grading 0.8% copper and 0.2g/t gold following the definition of a second major zone of high grade material located within the planned central pit development.
The focus now is to deliver a second major resource upgrade in parallel with the completion of a Pre-feasibility study to be released in the second half 2013.
A major drilling programme has commenced at Productora utilising 4 multi-purpose diamond (DD) and reverse circulation (RC) drilling rigs. A total of 85,000m of RC and 15,000m of DD drilling has been planned to deliver strong resource growth and development at Productora in 2013. In particular, the programme aims to achieve:
- A second major up-grade to the Productora copper-gold-molybdenum resource
- A maiden iron ore resource estimation for the parallel and western magnetite zones, and
- Completion of metallurgical, hydrogeological and geotechnical drilling programmes as part of the pre-feasibility studies.
The Company has successfully completed a scoping study over Productora managed by leading engineering and project development group Ausenco. A pre-feasibility study has commenced into the assessment of a potential 10.9Mtpa, 20 year mine life open pit operation, and the company intends to submit an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) within the first half of 2013.
The execution of letters of intent for joint infrastructure and an iron option with project partner CMP (Chile's largest iron ore miner), the completion of project consolidation and recent outstanding drilling results have significantly enhanced the economics and "do-ability" of Productora as an emerging high-quality Chilean copper project.
Productora is being fast-tracked towards a decision to mine on a large-scale open pit project in cooperation with Hot Chili's project partner and substantial shareholder Compañía Minera del Pacífico S.A. (CMP- Chile's largest iron ore miner).
The project is one of the fastest emerging mid-tier copper projects being developed in Chile, with significant infrastructure advantages in the low-altitude coastal range.