The West Australian | Matt Birney | Wednesday, 9 February 2022 3:42PM
ASX-listed copper explorer Hot Chili has wrapped up drilling at its Cortadera copper-gold porphyry discovery ahead of an imminent resource upgrade for its fast-tracked Chilean project. The company is confident all three of the Cuerpos orebodies are linked to the same footprint. It says the significant extent of the porphyry mineralisation gives it versatile low grade, low-strip ratio sulphide mining options.
Final results from the 2021 drilling program have returned a number of significant intersections from the margins of Cuerpo 2 and Cuerpo 3 at Cortadera.
One hole yielded 927 metres grading 0.3 per cent copper equivalent and 0.1 grams per tonne gold from just 14m depth.
The results mean it now has the confidence to convert some of its resource from inferred to indicated and then progress to a pre-feasibility study, or “PFS”.
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.
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 Managing Director, Christian Easterday
Belief is strong amongst management that the company is well positioned for an anticipated surge in global copper demand given a lack of new copper plays coming to market in the next decade.
Furthermore, Hot Chili still has two diamond drill rigs in operation, completing a number of hydrology and geotechnical test work drill holes. Whilst a further RC rig is working on the Productora Central target, 14 kms from Cortadera. The first assay results from Productora Central are expected to arrive in the coming weeks.
Hot Chili is determined to commission the Cortadera copper gold project in a time frame that would be the envy of major mining houses. At the rate it achieves its milestones, there appear to be dwindling reasons to doubt whether the company can deliver on its promises.