Big: New higher-grade copper core confirmed at Cortadera

Stockhead | Thursday , 10 February 2022

Hot Chili has much to dance about. Pic: Big (1988), 20th Century Fox

Special Report: Hot Chili’s updated copper models have confirmed the presence of a new higher grade core at the main Cuerpo 3 porphyry and a major increase in resources at Cortadera

Cortadera is already one of the most exciting copper-gold discoveries to be made in recent years and for the final assays from last year’s resource drilling to firm up of the existence of the core – with +0.6% copper – only serves to take things up another notch.

Results such as 927m at 0.3% copper equivalent from a depth of just 14m with a 32m core grading 1% copper equivalent from a depth of 682m (CRP0144D) are expected to contribute to a material expansion of both high grade and bulk tonnage mineralisation at Cortadera once Hot Chili (ASX:HCH) delivers the resource update later this quarter.

This update will include the 52,000m of drilling completed since the maiden resource of 451 million tonnes grading 0.46% copper equivalent was reported in October 2020.

“We are one of a handful of company’s outside of the majors that are advanced enough to deliver a meaningful new copper mine into production in the next five years,” managing director Christian Easterday said.

“It takes an average 18 to 21 years to move from discovery to production with large-scale copper projects. The quality of Hot Chili’s Costa Fuego project is evidenced by the speed in which we have advanced the project from discovery to resource delineation to the planned release of an updated PFS.

“Hot Chili is well positioned ahead of a forecast step-change in global copper demand, combined with a paucity of new copper supply, this decade.”

New model shows Cortadera’s a big one

The copper mineralisation model updated by the company’s geological team indicates that all three Cuerpos are linked, reflecting the significant extent of the porphyry system discovered to date while providing versatile low grade, low-strip ratio sulphide mining options.

It has also delineated an additional high-grade domain within Cuerpo 3 and expanded the +0.3% copper material at Cuerpo 1 and 2 from surface, which provides both open pit and underground mining options.

This model has also confirmed strong vertical and concentric continuity of higher grade mineralisation while delineating new high grade copper oxide mineralisation above each of Cortadera’s three porphyries.

The expanded drilling dataset provides confidence for a material conversion from Inferred to Indicated classification, paving the way for a successful Costa Fuego pre-feasibility study that is due to be released in the third quarter.

No pause in drilling

Hot Chili’s 2022 drill program is continuing with two diamond rigs operating at Cortadera to complete holes for hydrology and geotechnical testwork purposes.

Additionally, a reverse circulation rig is drilling across Productora Central, the first of several large targets to be tested this year.

In addition to targeting a resource upgrade for Costa Fuego in the first quarter, Hot Chili is also looking to sign an off-take agreement with strategic investor Glencore in the next few months.

Under the terms of this agreement the mining giant would purchase 60% of the first eight years of production.

Consensus does not cover this stock.

Based on Morningstar’s fair value of $2.73 (26/05/21) the stock appears Undervalued. Going into lunch today the share price was down -1.31%.

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Big: New higher-grade copper core confirmed at Cortadera