Breathtaking Hot Chili resource upgrade launches Costa Fuego copper-gold to new heights

STOCKHEAD | March 31, 2022

Hot Chili’s Costa Fuego copper-gold hub has hit new hits. Pic: via Ge

Hot Chili has reinforced its Costa Fuego copper-gold hub’s position as a top tier development project after upgrading its higher confidence Indicated Resource by a massive 67%.

The upgraded Costa Fuego now features an Indicated Resource of 725 million tonnes grading 0.47% copper equivalent, or contained resources totalling 2.8Mt of copper, 2.6 million ounces of gold, 10.5Moz of silver and 67,000t of molybdenum.

This is more than 80% of its total resource and includes a higher grade Indicated Resource of 156Mt at 0.79% copper equivalent with contained resources of 1Mt of copper, 850,000oz of gold, 2.9Moz of silver and 24,000t of molybdenum – more than a third of the total contained resource.

The resource upgrade is another sign that Hot Chili’s (ASX:HCH) plans are coming together in a spectacular fashion, as it follows on the back of a key offtake agreement that will see Glencore buy 60% of the project’s copper concentrate production for an eight-year period at “arm’s-length commercially-competitive” terms.

Managing director Christian Easterday said the resource upgrade elevates Costa Fuego’s position amongst the largest undeveloped copper projects in the world.

“The world is hungry for advanced, low-risk, senior copper developments with near-term production potential. Copper prices are driving higher and new meaningful copper supply is fast becoming a mirage,” he noted.

“Hot Chili is well positioned to deliver into this forecast supply gap and contribute to the decarbonisation super cycle, particularly due to Costa Fuego’s lower economic hurdle resulting from its low elevation location and proximity to existing infrastructure; including abundant grid power with high renewables contributions.

“We are fully funded for 18 months and on-track to deliver our next resource upgrade and PFS later this year as we transform Costa Fuego into one of the world’s next material copper mines.”

Resource upgrade

The Costa Fuego upgrade is the culmination of 18 months of material investment, which included the completion of 52,000m of additional resource drilling at the Cortadera project – the main engine of growth for Costa Fuego.

Cortadera now has an Indicated resource of 471Mt grading 0.46% copper equivalent, a 134% increase over its previous estimate of 183Mt at 0.49% copper equivalent.

And there’s room for further growth with Costa Fuego hosting an Inferred Resource of 202Mt at 0.36% copper equivalent, or contained metals totalling 600,000t of copper, 400,000oz of gold, 2Moz of silver and 13,000t of molybdenum.

This includes a high-grade maiden resource of 4.2Mt at 1.2% copper equivalent at the San Antonio deposit, which represents an additional open pittable deposit for Costa Fuego’s potential early mine schedule.

Hot Chili is also planning to carry out further resource upgrade drilling at San Antonio and the nearby Valentina high grade deposit in the coming months.

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Hot Chili resource upgrade launches Costa Fuego copper-gold to new heights