Hot Chili adds second major Cortadera porphyry, double exploration strike

STOCKHEAD | Nov 28, 2022

Hot Chili is set to grow its Cortadera copper-gold project over a large mineralised porphyry outcropping. Pic via Getty Images.

Hot Chili has executed an option agreement to extend its Cortadera copper-gold project over a large outcropping of mineralised porphyry similar in size to the main Cuerpo 3 porphyry.

The consolidation of Cortadera not only presents the opportunity to add significant mineralisation, it also about doubles the prospective strike length from 2.3km to 4.1km.

Given that Cuerpo 3 makes up a significant portion of the Cortadera mineralisation, which currently consists of a high confidence Indicated Resource of 471Mt grading 0.46% copper equivalent (CuEq) and an Inferred Resource of 108Mt at 0.35% CuEq, this could be hugely beneficial for the company.

Drilling of the new Cuerpo 4 porphyry by the vendor, Antofagasta Minerals (AMSA), has already confirmed several significant shallow drilling intersections including a thick 128m interval at 0.5% CuEq from a down-hole depth of 28m with a higher grade zone of 16m at 1.3% CuEq (1% copper and 0.5 grams per tonne gold) from 28m.

Hot Chili (ASX:HCH) intends to start a 6,000m drill program over the 700m by 300m Cuerpo 4 porphyry as soon as possible to assess a potential material resource addition to the broader Costa Fuego development.

New ground

The five mining rights acquired from AMSA cover 517 hectares and contain other identified porphyry targets besides Cuerpo 4.

Four of the five holes drilled by AMSA in 2005 returned wide intersections of mineralisation with their shallow nature highlighting open pit resource growth potential.

Hot Chili’s planned first pass program of both diamond and reverse circulation drilling will test Cuerpo 4 and two other targets within the new mining rights.

Drilling is also planned across the existing Cortadera North target, where earlier exploration drilling targeting a large surface molybdenum anomaly in 2020 intersected wide zones of silver mineralisation.

While this work vectored towards Cuerpo 4, the company had then ceased all exploration there until an agreement could be entered into with AMSA.

These rights are expected to provide relatively low cost and highly accretive resource growth potential.

Worth the wait

The acquisition has led the company to revise the release date for its next resource update to the second half of 2023 rather than late 2022 to include results from the proposed drilling.

Additionally, the combined Costa Fuego Pre-Feasibility Study – targeting annual production rates of up to 100,000t copper and up to 70,000oz of gold over a mine life of more than 20 years – will be paused until the company can assess the impact of resource growth potential at Cortadera.

This ensures that future expenditure relating to the PFS can be optimised for infrastructure location and a potentially larger scale copper operation.