The West Australian | Matt Birney | 14 June 2022
Early drilling results from Hot Chili’s Valentina prospect has revealed a significant extension to the orebody with strong visual copper cores. Credit: File
Follow-up drilling on Hot Chili’s Valentina prospect, only a few kilometres from its three existing copper orebodies, has revealed a significant extension to the discovery with strong visual copper intersections. The discovery could beef up the numbers in the company’s pre-feasibility study on the low altitude, coastal Costa Fuego copper gold project.
Hot Chili has been driving the Costa Fuego deposits towards commercialisation for several years. The company says its low-cost overheads and proximity to local port export facilities make the project one of the most significant copper-gold discoveries of the past decade.
The explorer has been drilling out the Cortadera, Productora and San Antonio orebodies and the early indications from the Valentina drilling looks to be adding to the numbers associated with Costa Fuego.
The latest buzz has been generated from a 17m visual core of interesting copper mineralisation from 22m depth including malachite, copper clays, chalcopyrite, chalcocite and covellite.
An additional 8m visual estimate of interesting copper mineralisation from 28m depth shows chalcocite, cuprite, chalcopyrite, covellite, malachite, copper clays with cuprite, covellite and chalcocite all being all high-grade copper ore minerals.
The company says the visual estimates of sulphide and oxide minerals are not an accurate representation of final assay values and are provided for indicative purposes only.
It is expecting the lab results for the 10 drill holes Hot Chili has punched into Valentina in the coming weeks with another eight drill holes planned into the step-out target.
Hot Chili has two drill rigs currently spinning the bit at the Valentina and San Antonio deposits, 5km east of its Cortadera copper porphyry discovery.
Once the current round of drilling at Valentina and San Antonio is completed, Hot Chili is shifting to test several large growth targets including Santiago Z and porphyry extensions along strike from Cortadera.
A wider look at Costa Fuego so far has delivered an indicated resource of 391 million tonnes grading 0.52 per cent copper equivalent, containing 1.7 Mt of copper, 1.5 million ounces of gold, 4.2 Moz silver, and 37kt molybdenum as well as an inferred resource of 334Mt grading 0.44 per cent containing 1.2 Mt copper, 1.2 Moz gold, 5.6 Moz silver and 27 Kt molybdenum, at a cut-off grade of 0.25 per cent copper equivalent.
Hot Chili controls 80 per cent of the Costa Fuego operating company, Sociedad Minera La Frontera that wholly owns the project.
It says port access and associated services negotiations are progressing well with initial proposals under discussion.