Hot Chili seals access to Chilean national grid, ensuring Costa Fuego copper project will run on 100% renewables

STOCKHEAD | Aug 18, 2022

Pic: Michael Duva/Stone via Getty Images

Hot Chili’s Costa Fuego copper project in Chile is already a monster, representing the lowest altitude development of a major copper deposit in the Americas.

Now it has been confirmed the mine will be able to operate on 100% renewable energy from day 1, with Hot Chili (ASX:HCH) receiving approval to connect to the Maitencillo sub-station 17km from the centre of the Costa Fuego development.

Chile’s Central Authority Electrical Regulator has approved the connection application, the company said today.

It opens access for Hot Chili to the national electricity grid, with the company able to negotiate with the multiple renewable energy providers in the South American nation.

A process to select one of more electrical providers is expected to begin in the fourth quarter of 2022.

The news adds another layer to the project’s environmental credentials to the Costa Fuego project, with Hot Chili able to operate off a mix of nearby solar, wind and hydroelectric generators.

The company is taking a low energy intensity development approach to Costa Fuego, including raw seawater processing without the need for a desalination plant. Hot Chili is fast approaching ‘infrastructure readiness’ with port access and services discussions advancing.

A PFS is due in the first quarter of 2023, making it one of the few copper mines ready to answer the call for material new sources of production as demand for the metal surges from the energy transition.

Resource growth drilling is still ongoing, with a resource upgrade expected in late 2022.

Costa Fuego boasts more than 3Mt of copper metal across the major Productora and Cortedera deposits, with measured indicated resources of 725Mt grading 0.47% CuEq, containing 2.75Mt Cu, 2.56Moz Au, 10.49Moz Ag, and 67.4kt Mo and an inferred resource of 202Mt grading 0.36% CuEq containing 731kt Cu, 605koz Au, 2.03Moz Ag and 13.4kt Mo.

Just last week Hot Chili announced a standout intercept of 8m at 5.9% copper equivalent from its high grade satellite Valentina deposit.