Hot Chili doubles down on South American copper play

The West Australian | Matt Birney | 30 Nov 2022

Core logging at a Hot Chili copper project in South America. Credit: File

Hot Chili has completed another land grab in South America, picking up seven new tenements for 757 hectares that have extended the boundaries of its Cortadera copper-gold discovery in Chile.

The purchase is hot on the heels of an adjacent acquisition yesterday that landed it a five-piece package of prospective copper ground that flanks the western rim of Cortadera.

The newly acquired tenements were obtained at a total cost of just US$110,000 through a government-run open auction.

The company says three of the tenements coined “Falla Maipo 2”, “Falla Maipo 3” and “Falla Maipo 4” bore the entirety of the financial burden whilst the remaining four were granted following forfeiture of overlapping third-party mining rights.

The Falla Maipo tenements adjoin the company’s existing copper ground at Cortadera and extend its potential strike length to 5.2 km.

Hot Chili says the acquisition of the seven new tenements are significant as they house four substantial copper porphyries that could expand the scope of its overall Costa Fuego copper-gold development.

Additionally, the acquisition consolidates Cortadera’s western extension and permits the company to get boots on the ground to explore a potentially much larger porphyry cluster.

Porphyry copper deposits are ore bodies formed when hydrothermal fluids deposit minerals from magma chambers and are major sources of the metal. The deposits are commonly found in regions of volcanic activity and a suite of them are currently being worked across Canada, Peru, Chile and Mexico.

Notably, the four new porphyries located within Hot Chili’s new tenements add a significant prospective strike length to a pair of mineralised trends.

The company’s Las Canas trend which hosts 4 porphyry targets has been extended by 1.8km whilst the Cortadera trend has been stretched by an additional 1.1km.

The Cortadera trend hosts a large porphyry target along strike from the Cortadera deposit and also takes in a mineralised fault corridor that connects the company’s Cortadera and Productora copper-gold deposits.

Cortadera is a fragment of Hot Chili’s larger Costa Fuego project that houses a gargantuan 725 million tonne resource base going 0.47 per cent copper equivalent. The number is drawn from two key assets located about 14 kilometres apart: Cortadera and Productora.

The Cortadera deposit hosts a 471 million tonne indicated and inferred resource going 0.46 per cent copper equivalent. The deposit takes in more than 1.7 million tonnes of copper, 1.8 million ounces of gold and 32,000 tonnes of molybdenum.

Productora hosts a 253 million tonnes measured and inferred resource grading 0.49 per cent copper equivalent.

In what could serve as a shot in the arm for Hot Chili a recent report by the Mineral Council of Australia suggests global demand for copper is tipped to rise from about 23.5 million tonnes in 2019 to 31.1 million tonnes in 2030.

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