Hot Chili (ASX:HCH) has stumbled across a new, large high-grade zone at depth at its Cortadera project in Chile after recording “one of the world’s standout copper-gold porphyry drill results”.

Recent drilling delivered a hit of 622m at 0.6 per cent copper and 0.2 grams per tonne (g/t) gold from 204m, which featured a new “high-grade” zone of 188m at 0.9 per cent copper and 0.4g/t gold from 516m, including 100m at 1 per cent copper and 0.5g/t gold from 530m.

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The news pushed shares up almost 13 per cent to an intra-day peak of 3.5c on Thursday morning.

Typically, high-grade copper would be 6 per cent or higher, but porphyry orebodies work a bit differently.

Cortadera is a porphyry deposit, which means it is hosted in a type of granite rock, the same as most of the major copper deposits around the world.

These deposits are usually large and low-grade but can be mined at low cost due to their scale. Globally, over 60 per cent of copper, all of the world’s molybdenum, 10-15 per cent of uranium and a significant amount of gold comes from porphyry deposits.

Porphyries typically range from 100 million to 5 billion tonnes, but at lower grades of between 0.2 per cent and less than 1 per cent copper.

In this case, hitting a grade of 1 per cent copper is considered high-grade.

Hot Chili told investors it is the best drilling intersection in the company’s history and the best result to date at its Cortadera copper project in Chile.

“We have achieved one of the world’s standout copper-gold porphyry drill intersections at Cortadera; one that is comparable to some of the best discovery drill results of recent times,” managing director Christian Easterday said.

“What is really exciting is that this new high-grade zone is completely open in all directions at depth and is similar in combined average grade and depth to SolGold’s high-grade zone at its world-class Cascabel discovery in Ecuador.”

At an average grade of 0.9 per cent copper and 0.4g/t gold, the new high-grade zone currently has a vertical extent of 190m, Easterday noted.

Proving just how hot SolGold’s discovery is, last year the Brisbane-based explorer found itself being fought over by mining giants BHP (ASX:BHP) and Newcrest (ASX:NCM) as both vied for a piece of the Cascabel copper and gold project.

And Hot Chili reckons it too has no shortage of suitors.

Earlier this year Hot Chili appointed corporate advisors to field the strong domestic and international interest.

Easterday told Stockhead at a recent mining conference that Hot Chili was in talks with “a lot of big groups at the moment”.


In other base metals news today:

Sipa Resources (ASX:SRI) says it has intersected new nickel and copper mineralisation in “several holes” at its Akelikongo prospect, which it is exploring in partnership with heavyweight Rio Tinto, in northern Uganda. Drill results have confirmed extensions to of the main western body and has defined a new eastern zone. Managing director Lynda Burnett said the latest drilling results have provided encouragement for ongoing exploration at the broader Kitgum Pader project.

Aeris Resources (ASX:AIS) has upgraded its full-year copper production guidance to between 26,450 tonnes and 26,650 tonnes. This is an increase of 4 per cent on the previous guidance upgrade announced in April and an increase of 8 per cent on the original guidance.

Independence Group (ASX:IGO) is now allowed to raise its stake in junior explorer Arrow Minerals’ (ASX:AMD) Plumridge nickel project in Western Australia from 51 per cent to 90 per cent after spending the requisite $5m on exploration. Independence met the four-year spend target in just 17 months.

Hillgrove Resources (ASX:HGO) will next week start a drilling program to confirm the depth extension, grade and continuity of the central Kavanagh copper-gold lode below the Giant Pit at its Kanmantoo project in South Australia. The company is investigating a possible underground mine development.